News and happenings for, by, about and affecting the LGBT Valley.
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Issue II, Volume XXIV, No. 278 | October 2018

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

 
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GRAY ALLIANCE 
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 is a list of the next three restaurants we’re going to.


October 10th, Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant, 4712 N Blackstone, Fresno

November 14th, Cochino Contento, 88 E Olive, Fresno

December 12th, Hino Oishi, 3091 E Campus Point Drive, Fresno 


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact John Richardson at 559-260-1565 or Linda Schinkel at 559-356-7220. Hope to see you soon!

YOUTH ALLIANCE 
David McGee

 

October rolled in gorgeous fall weather and a touch of needed rain! We had the best weather for going to the Big Fresno Fair! Did anyone go to the fair? Our Youth Alliance members never mentioned the fair once! Evidently, they were either too broke or too involved in electronic gaming activity! Attendance at the group has been low in October, which is common, but no one knows the reason anymore! It may be revealed in coming weeks when the flock returns! 

Since October is LGBTQ history month and the 11th was National Coming Out Day, we spent some time in group this month talking about our favorite LGBTQ icons and telling our coming out stories to each other. As always, there were group members who were able to tell a happy tale of complete acceptance as they came out in whatever form of existence they chose, and there were group members who told stories about their family’s lack of acceptance or out-and-out dismissal. For many of our LGBTQ youth, the struggle continues in their efforts to discover their identity and find acceptance in their own family! Our group members are fortunate to have a place to go on Friday nights where they can explore their identity and have complete acceptance of who they are and what they think or say!


We had a guest group leader this month! Our Grand Poobah, Jeffery, and our intrepid group leader, Banana, were invited to a wedding on a recent Friday night, so Cherish, a long-time group member who is now a blossomed adult, offered to run the group. Cherish lead a group of twelve noisy, chaotic LGBTQ youth with considerable aplomb! Wisely, she let the group members each take a turn at asking the group a discussion question. Group members kept their questions light and the evening passed quickly with lots of fun! Congratulations to Cherish for stepping up and taking the reins! She did a great job!


We save the last Friday of the month for our world-famous potluck, and this month, we add additional fun to the equation by hosting a Halloween Party! Group members are already beginning to talk about their costumes for the party! Banana’s partner, J, will supply the music, and everyone will nosh and talk! We usually play a few party games, which quickly become competitive and hilarious! For any youthful readers who have held off attending the group due to a touch of shyness, the Halloween Party will be a safe place to meet people for the first time! Join us in the fun! Honestly, we won’t bite!


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 Youth Alliance,” to check it out!

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Local
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KAMPOUT REPORT

By Janet 
 

The safari has left the mountain, and Kampout 2018 has come to an end.   


What a great weekend it was, a new adventure at a new, beautiful site, which received rave reviews from those attending. The campground was laid out in a circle, and the roads were fairly flat, which allowed people to mingle and easily get to the common areas and explore some historic sites. This year, about 100 kampers enjoyed the beautiful weather and clean air across the road from Texas Flat. 


Kampers arriving early on Friday were greeted at the gate by Sally and others of the HLK with a “welcome kocktail” in a special commemorative cup.  Then it was on to a new event, Kampout Bingo, which was a big hit, sponsored by and prizes donated by Steve and Oscar.  The Progressive Kocktail Party, our traditional “meet and greet” on Friday made 5 stops starting at the HLK and down to the Kampout Committee, then on to Eli and Dennis, then Jeffery and on to the IDC, before returning to the main kamp for the first beer bust, sponsored by the Red Lantern, and karaoke.  Big thanks to all who provided stops, what a lot of fun, great food and beverage. 


Saturday is the busy day at Kampout, starting out with a great breakfast by the Kampout Committee.  Kampers then were ready to participate in all the fun and games, the Yacht Regatta, the Needle in the Haystack, and the always hysterical Kamptown Races. 
 

Saturday’s beer bust was sponsored by Alibi and was followed by a wonderful dinner by the Kampout Committee, of chicken cacciatore with pasta, rattatouie, and green salad.  Big thanks to Committee members Rick, Phillip, and Rudy who worked so hard in the kitchen. 
 

Saturday’s festivities continued with the always fun Kampstravaganza  Show, which began with Rick singing God Bless America.  Thank you to “Agent O” Josef for your great job as MC.  Big thanks to our reigning Emperor Mario and Empress Melody and all the IDC who came out in force for this year’s kampout.   And I just don’t have words to say what a fabulous bunch of performers we had on stage this year.  Thank you all. 
 

On to the winners of the weekend events. The Needle in the Haystack was won by Rachel, Oscar and Laurie. In the Regatta, Kamp Kommordor went to Tiana and Best Boat went to Chelsea. For kampsites, the Best in Theme went to the IDC, Best in Show went to Eli and Dennis, and Best Unique Interpretation went to Jeffrey. Kampout King was Sheri and Kampout Kween was She-lah Tequila. Congratulations to all winners. 
 

The Kampout Committee would like to thank all of our wonderful sponsors, without their help, we couldn’t do this. Thank you to the Red Lantern and Alibi for your donation of the kegs. Thank you to Fresno Pride Lions for your donation. Special thanks to Julio, Eli, Dennis and Jeffery for all your help. LeeShe, thank you for all you do. Thank you to the IDC for sponsoring the printing of the rave cards. Thank you, Josef and Marc Rosario for your fundraiser.  Thank you, Alicia King for sponsoring the King and Kween prizes.  Thank you Empress 39(Rick) for sponsoring the Yacht Regatta.  Thank you to LGBT News Link for your continued support. And thank you to LGBTFresno.com
 

Kampout officially ended on Sunday, with another wonderful breakfast provided by the Kampout Committee followed by the selection of next year’s theme.  So, here is what you have been waiting for…Kampout 2019 Goes to the Circus. Lion tamers, bearded “ladies”, strong women…we’ll even allow carnival stuff with this theme…..just NO CLOWNS because of legitimate fear of clowns. This should be a lot of fun, think outside the box, and join us up at Kampout, Sept. 6-8, 2019. 

OVER THE EDGE
Beverly Anderson

On November 10, 2018 people from all over the Central Valley will take the leap and go Over The Edge to raise money to support The Source LGBT+ Center.
   

Simply raise a minimum of $1,000 in pledges and rappel down Visalia's tallest building, Visalia Marriott at The Convention Center. Whether you are an accomplished climber or a first timer, this event is a thrill of a lifetime. An exclusive event for The Source LGBT+ Center, Over the Edge gives participants a life-changing opportunity to rappel 9 stories while raising money for your local LGBT center serving Tulare and Kings Counties.
 

In just 2 short years, The Source LGBT+ Center has outgrown our current space. With your help we can build the foundation to purchase our own building where we will save substantially on operational expenses, more than double our capacity to serve, expand programming, and open our space up to community use.

Go Over The Edge with us this fall and help us continue to serve our community. Our goal is $100,000. We know you can do it!

For more information or to participate visit visaliaovertheedge.com.


 

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A WRITER
Reprinted from LGBTFresno.com
By Brian T. Clark


Readers often ask me about my daily routine as an author. Do I write every day? How many hours per day do I write? And, did I write when I was younger? The last question is easy and straight forward. Yes, I wrote in high school and college. However, the answer to the first two questions has changed over the years. Now, the answer to those depends on where I am in a manuscript, whether it’s plotting out the outline, writing the actual storyline, doing the final edits, or gearing up for a release.

 

A good example of a typical day for me is that I am in the office by eight. With my second cup of Java in hand, I check emails and respond to any and all inquiries. Then, I move on to social media and marketing. Since my assistant does all of the advertisements on Facebook, I spend a little time there just trying to keep up on the buzz feed from around the industry.


Next, I turn my attention to Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Ibooks, Smashword and a whole host of other sites were my books are sold to see what’s happening there. All of these sites require a daily check-in to ensure there aren’t any problems with my information. Since I have paid advertising on some of these platforms, I also have to check the sales and data trends. All of this activity usually takes a couple of hours.
 

By late morning, with the ‘up-keep’ of being a writer completed, I finally get to work on actually writing. Right now, I am working on the edits for my next novel, Escaping Camp Roosevelt. First round edits amount to almost a complete make over of the original draft. This is where holes in the plot are discovered and my characters begin to shine. I call this stage in a manuscript, the “frosting on the cake”. The cake has been baked, but it is just a cake. Now, it is time to make it pretty. As I “frost the cake”, I am layering depth in my characters and further developing the subplots to keep the reader engaged and the story line moving forward.

The Source Board Member Bio: Sarah Stephens
By Kathryn Hall

Sarah Stephens is a new Board Member for The Source and is new to California.  Sarah moved to Visaila with her family almost 5 years ago for her work as a Pharmacist specializing in the field of Medication Safety.  The Source has provided a place for Sarah to utilize her leadership skills to advocate for human rights and equality.  Sarah grew up in Wyoming, a place without a lot of diversity.  During her time at the University of Wyoming, Matthew Shepard was beaten to death.  The funeral was then held in Sarah's home town of Casper, Wyoming where protesters traveled miles from from all over the country to spread hate.  There were also those who protected Matthew's friends and family, wearing large angel wings to block the protesters out.  It was a beautiful sight and one that has stayed with Sarah over the years. Although Sarah did not know Matthew personally, his death was the beginning of what has shaped her opinions and reinforced the importance of advocacy for those who face inequality.  Sarah is very grateful for the time and service she is able to give The Source while teaching her daughter what it means to truly love others for who they are, no matter how much they are alike or different.   

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FAMILY TO FAMILY CLASSES BY NAMI
By Beverly Anderson

National Alliance on Mental Illness Tulare County will offer no-cost classes for family members and friends of those with mental illness on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8:30 pm in Porterville starting September 19 for the following 12 weeks. Register by calling Donna at 280-5258  or Kathy at 361-3861.

KFCF MEET & GREET HONORING JEFF ROBINSON,
Host of "It's A Queer Thang"

Reprinted from KFCF.org

Jeff has been on KFCF introducing the Valley and surrounding foothill and mountain areas to the issues, events and people from our LGBTQ community for over 28 years. He will be honored at our meet and greet on Saturday, November 10th from 2- 5 PM.

We’ll have wine, non-alcoholic beverages, hors d’oeuvers and a live broadcast of KFCF’s The Soul Kitchen. The suggested donation is $20 to benefit KFCF. It will be at 4823 N. Hulbert in Fresno, home of our hosts for the event,  Joel C. Albers (StageWorks Fresno) and J. Daniel Herring (Chair, Dept of Theatre Arts, CSUF)

2018 TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE - YOU ARE INVITED!
By Zoyer Zyndel

 

You are invited to attend the 2018 Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on Friday, November 16th. Doors open at 6pm; the event begins at 6:30pm and ends at 8:30pm. TDOR will be hosted by Trans-E-Motion and Fresno State's Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State 5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93740 in North Gym room 118.
 

The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance is an event to honor the lives of transgender individuals who died from murder or suicide. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about transgender existence in our own community. This event is intended to provide a safe space for transgender people and their allies to embrace their identities while memorializing those whose lives were cut short.
 

The event will feature singing, poetry, and an art display. Inspirational speakers will address the topic of transgender experiences, gender diversity, inclusion, and the importance of raising awareness about violence and transphobia. Information on supportive crisis services, local resources, and organizations will be present at our resource fair. Finally, a reading of the names will be held to honor transgender individuals who have died by violent crimes or suicide this past year (November 2017-November 2018).


In addition: On Tuesday, November 20th at 4:30pm Trans-E-Motion will hold a rally and protest against anti-transgender violence at Blackstone and Nees in Fresno (we will meet at the northeast corner by In N Out). Join us as we demand justice for our fallen transgender community members. Now is the time to advocate for the transgender community. Signs will be provided but you are encouraged to bring your own. We will hear a few speeches from local community organizers educate and speak out against malevolence towards our transgender community members. Join us - your visibility is your support.

 
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National

 

MATTHEW SHEPARD FOUNDATION

The fence outside Laramie, Wyoming, where Matthew Shepard was left to die in October 1998.

FINAL RITES FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD

Gay college student, murdered 20 years ago, to be interred at Washington National Cathedral

Reprinted from GayCityNews.com
By Paul Schindler


Matthew Shepard, the 21-year-old college student who died 20 years ago on October 12, days after suffering a brutal homophobic attack from two men in Laramie, Wyoming, will finally be laid to rest at the Washington National Cathedral on October 26.
 

“We’ve given much thought to Matt’s final resting place, and we found the Washington National Cathedral is an ideal choice, as Matt loved the Episcopal Church and felt welcomed by his church in Wyoming,” said Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, in a written statement. “For the past 20 years, we have shared Matt’s story with the world. It’s reassuring to know he now will rest in a sacred spot where folks can come to reflect on creating a safer, kinder world.”


Judy Shepard and her husband, Dennis, founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation to confront the issue of anti-LGBTQ and other hate-fueled harassment and violence. A release this week from the foundation noted that there have been 22 known murders of transgender people in the US this year, and that, since 2016, the rate of bias attacks against Latinx and Muslim Americans has risen even faster than against LGBTQ people.

Continued at GayCityNews.nyc

TRANS STUDENT ISOLATED DURING SHOOTER DRILL RECEIVES APOLOGY
By David McGee

 

The superintendent of schools in Stafford County, VA, has apologized to a transgender student who was isolated during a drill to prepare students for sheltering should there ever be a shooter on campus. 
 

The unnamed middle school student was forced to sit on gymnasium bleachers while teachers debated whether to place the student in the girls’ or the boys’ locker room during the September 28 drill.  Eventually, staff decided she should sit in a hallway leading to one of the locker rooms.   


School superintendent Scott Kizner apologized to the public and privately to the student.  He said that the school district did not live up to the expectation that every child and adult regardless of sexual orientation or gender should be treated with respect. 

Source: advocate.com

COFFEE-TOSS THROUGH THE FOG
Reprinted from LGBTFresno.com
By Evie Ovalle


It had been a particularly warm summer in 1966 and the city of San Francisco was finally enjoying the cool Pacific winds that the month of August brought in. The Bay Area metropolis bustled alive with sailors, hustlers, immigrant families and tourists, all scurrying atop the seven peninsula hills like ants over great concrete mounds. Already reputed as an “anything goes” kind of place, San Francisco had been able to maintain a number of “libidinous” establishments open for years – including “homosexual gatherings” like The Black Cat Café and Finocchio’s Nightclub in North Beach. These bars stayed open through an extensive negotiation with local law-enforcement and assistance from the local *Homophile organizations located in the city. Cross-dressing, however, was still illegal in 1966 and SFPD could use the presence of transgender people in a place of business as a pretext to make a raid and close down a bar. As a result, many trans-people (or hair fairies, as they were often referred to) were not welcome. The only place trans-people could really congregate safely was in a little chain restaurant, on the corner of Taylor and Turk, called Compton’s Cafeteria. It is here that a civic revolt took place – one that would pre-date Stonewall as the first recorded transgender riot in United States history.
 

*Homophile: A term used in the 1950’s and 1960’s to describe LGBT-rights organizations. With the emergence of the Gay Liberation, the word began to disappear from the LGBT vernacular.
 

On this one August night, SFPD was called in under the premise that a group of hair fairies had become increasingly raucous at Compton's. The SFPD, assuming a routine deviant arrest, promptly showed up and proceeded to manhandle the clientele – as it happens, this was also a routine thing for them to do.


There are several accounts as to what occurred next or what prompted the riot itself, but the most popular version is that a trans woman, exhausted with the abuse implemented by the San Francisco police, threw her hot coffee in the face of the officer who was roughening her up. In a matter of mere seconds, dishes, furniture, wigs and high-heeled shoes went flying about the cafe. Shouts and screams were heard from the outside, and the restaurant’s plate-glass windows were violently smashed. The riot spilled out onto the dark, wet streets of the Tenderloin District. Police called for reinforcements as a sidewalk newsstand was toppled over and burned to the ground. The first night of the riots had begun.

LA TRANS WOMAN'S ATTACKER GETS PROBATION 

By David McGee
 

Five and a half years after attacking transgender woman Vivian Diego in Los Angeles, Nicol Shakhnazaryan has been sentenced to probation, avoiding jail time.   He pleaded no contest to a felony assault charge, but the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor as a result of a plea deal.
 

Diego was hospitalized for a week for multiple injuries.  After the court proceedings, she told local reporters, “Emotionally and mentally, that healing process is going to be ongoing.   Physically, I think I am OK.” 

Source: advocate.com 

GAY MAN WITH COCHLEAR IMPLANT GETS SWEET NEWS
By David McGee 

 

Earlier in the year, Hayward, age 27, and his boyfriend, Kerry, 37, took a trip to San Francisco to visit family.  During the trip, Hayward contracted bacterial meningitis, spent 3 weeks in the hospital, and permanently lost his hearing as a result of the infection.
   

Hayward was recently approved to receive a cochlear implant, a device that replaces the function of the damaged inner ear.   


After a period of convalescence, when Hayward turned on the implant, the first thing he heard was his partner proposing marriage.  Hayward stated, “Before, I knew he loved me, but now?  It’s surreal!” 

Source:  buzzfeednews.com 

DOES PATH TO DEM STATE SENATE GO THROUGH BROOKLYN?

Andrew Gounardes is mobilizing LGBTQ forces to topple Marty Golden
Reprinted from GayCityNews.nyc

By Paul Schindler

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg was running for a third term in 2009, Gay City News asked him why as a committed supporter of marriage equality he was also a big booster of the State Senate Republican campaign committee. The mayor argued his financial support for the GOP gave him unique sway in pressing the case for equal rights to skeptical listeners — and he specifically mentioned the handful of Republican state senators who represent New York City districts, including Marty Golden from District 22 in South Brooklyn.
 

A call to Golden’s office at that time to learn whether the senator had ever heard the mayor out on the issue was not returned. Even without an answer, though, it was hard to imagine Bloomberg making much headway with Golden, who was among five GOP senators who the year before were represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, an Arizona-based anti-LGBTQ litigation group, in an unsuccessful challenge to then-Governor David Paterson’s directive that legal precedent required the state to recognize valid same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, even if gay and lesbian couples could not yet marry here.

JOHN MCCARTEN

DE BLASIO SIGNS GENDER MARKER REFORM
Reprinted from GayCityNews.nyc
By Paul Schindler


At an October 9 ceremony at the Edie Windsor SAGE Center in Chelsea, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to give a third gender option on New York City birth certificates, allowing people who identify as non-binary or gender-nonconforming to mark an X rather than an M or F.


The legislation also eliminates the requirement in changing a gender designation on a birth certificate that a physician or health care provider attest to the individual’s gender change. People born in New York City can now submit their own affidavit affirming their gender identity.


“For too long, older transgender, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people have lived in the shadows, unable to live their lives openly and authentically, suffering widespread discrimination, high rates of violence, significant social isolation, and mounting health care barriers,” said SAGE CEO Michael Adams. “We are exceptionally proud and honored to host Mayor Bill de Blasio as he signs this groundbreaking legislation.”

Source: GayCityNews.nyc

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International

 

HOMOPHOBE CLOSE TO WINNING PRESIDENCY OF BRAZIL
Reprinted from GayCityNews.nyc

By Andy Humm
 

Right wing candidate Jair Bolsonaro won 46 percent in the first round of voting for president of Brazil, short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff on October 28. Bolsonaro will face off against São Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party, who got 29 percent in a country beset by a bad economy and political corruption. Leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Haddad’s party was barred from running by the Superior Electoral Court.

Bolsonaro has been a member of Congress for seven terms and is most famous for his anti-LGBTQ, anti-women, and racist remarks that earned him federal hate crimes charges. He is a former captain in the army, is assembling top military leaders in his circle, and wants to use the military to “purge a corrupt ruling elite,” the New York Times reported. He is backed, as Trump was, by a burgeoning evangelical population in Brazil. The first round voting pulled out 80 percent of eligible Brazilians.

Out gay journalist Glenn Greenwald, an American who lives in Brazil, called Bolsonaro “the most misogynistic, hateful elected official in the democratic world.” This leader of the Social Liberal Party (!) has five children, first four boys and then “in a moment of weakness,” he said, a daughter. He called a female member of Congress “not worthy of being raped.”

Bolsonaro said he was “incapable of loving a gay son” and would prefer such a son “die in an accident” — though he also said he would try to “take a whip” and change him. He has threatened to “beat” gay men if he sees them kissing publicly and attributes what he says is a rise in homosexuality to drugs and women working outside the home.

HOMELAND SECURITY: PROTECTING US FROM GAY SINGERS
Reprinted from GayCityNews.nyc
By Andy Humm

 

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Mexico City was detained at Houston’s Hobby Airport on October 7 as they tried to enter the US on a trip to Los Angeles to perform with that city’s Gay Men’s Chorus. A Homeland Security officer found sheet music in their luggage and inferred that they were performers in the US without the proper work permits. The chorus, however, is a non-profit group and all its members are volunteers. Agency officials got their backs up when they found that one of the chorus’ members, Jorge Gutierrez, a university professor of literature, had the same name as someone who had once stolen a truck.
 

The executive director of the Los Angeles chorus explained to Homeland Security that the group was being welcomed to an event sponsored by William Shatner, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, and Mayor Eric Garcetti and that sending them back to Mexico would trigger “an international incident.” The intervention succeeded and the show in Los Angeles went on.

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Enlighten Me

 

SOULS ON ASSIGNMENT: WHAT'S YOUR PURPOSE?
By Mark Langenfeld

 

Thinking back, I can recall my childhood, religious programming. I was raised with certain beliefs, many of which now seem fear-based. At least that is how it seemed to me. The concepts of heaven and hell, good or bad, reward or punishment all seemed to have the basic elements of operand, behavioral conditioning. If I behaved, I was rewarded; if I misbehaved, I was punished.

 

I was taught to fear hell. I was also taught to fear the sins that supposedly caused a soul to go to hell. Consequently, this type of cognitive programming lead me to use religion as a way of avoiding pain and punishment. Whether that was the intent of my religious teachers or not is uncertain. My religion quickly became a safe haven, of sorts, to hide from my dread.

 

As I was growing up, I altered my behavior to align with the religious beliefs that were passed down to me. My motivation was selfish; I wanted to go to heaven. I am embarrassed to admit this now, but at that time in my childhood, I just wanted what was best for my own soul. The rest of humanity could be damned for all I cared.

 

Obviously, I think differently now as an adult than I did when I was a child. Not only have I physically matured, I have also morally matured as well. My current spiritual view is to provide a useful service to the community. This takes many forms as you might imagine. Some days, I volunteer my time feeding the homeless at a local soup kitchen. Other times, I donate time working with people suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. I have spent most of my career providing counseling to those with severe mental illness.

 

Of course, providing a useful service to the community doesn’t have to involve working with the most challenging situations and problems. You can serve others by simply being kind and loving. You don’t have to be a saint to do that. The opportunities are not hard to find. Compassion is desperately needed everywhere—literally, everywhere!

 

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “OK, if you say that a person doesn’t need to work with the most difficult cases, then why did you pick such a difficult population to serve?” Well, it has to do with the essence of my being. I feel that my soul is comprised of love. Since I was created by a loving being, I, too, am a loving being.

 

So, what does a loving soul like mine naturally want to do? It wants to act in accordance with its purpose—to ease the suffering of others. This may not be the purpose of your soul necessarily. Everyone has his or her own purpose in life. So if my purpose does not match yours, that’s alright.

 

I’m not exactly sure how many past lives I have had. However, when the cloudy memory of a past life tickles the corners of my soul reminding me of a life long forgotten, I have noticed a pattern to my past lives. They all seem to involve a life of service and compassion. Does this mean that I have never hurt anyone? Of course not.

 

I have done plenty of destructive things in past lives. However, my negative behaviors only happened when I strayed off my true path of serving others. It is the pattern of showing compassion that leads me to believe that my soul’s purpose has remained the same over all these incarnations. That is why I am of the opinion that after I die my soul will get reassigned to yet another mission instead of just hanging out in heaven.

 

Have I lost you? Bear with me while I attempt to explain something that is most likely un-explainable. You see, as I understand it, heaven is a place where there is no suffering. Since the purpose of my soul is to alleviate suffering, my soul would have no purpose in heaven. Mine is the type of soul that needs to go where others are in pain and need love and compassion. This reasoning flies in the face of theology—and common sense for that matter. Unorthodox as it may sound, my soul needs to be out on assignment because that’s where I can do the greatest good. Get it?

 

If you would like to dig a little bit more into discovering some small aspect of your own soul, you might want to meditate on the following question: “What is the energy within you that causes the spark of insight?” Makes you think, don’t it? Put more simply, “What sparked the spark?”

 

Today’s Loving Suggestion: You don’t have to go far to find souls that are suffering. Just look around. Might I suggest you start with your family? Remember, it does not have to be a biological family. It can be a family made up of your friends. Perhaps, you find it difficult to show kindness to others because you believe people have not been kind to you. In that case, give yourself the kindness you need. That’s right; you can show compassion to yourself.

 

As you are reading this right now, breathe deeply. As you inhale, imagine spiritual light streaming down and filling your soul with life energy. Picture the rays of light as either sunlight or moonlight showering you with love. Now that you have received kindness from yourself, you are better able to pass that spiritual love on to those you meet today and every day. If nothing else, just smile more.

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New Wellness

 

GIVING THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
By Ron Blake

 

Thanksgiving is coming and it is a time to be thankful for what we have...and for what we had.
 

My path in life was detoured by the early passing of one of my former acolytes. His name is, was, and always will be Joe Trimmel. I was his cross country and track coach for two years back in the Hoosier state.
 

I began my recollections of happier days on the 1,500 mile plane trip back to the Midwest for his funeral. It was 1998 and I had just begun building a team of young men that pledged to run and run a lot. I assembled a gallimaufry of a prep, a practical joker, a gear head, an all-star athlete, a music lover, and many others.
 

Then I entered into the equation this skinny, pubescent, bespectacled, transfer student wearing a tye-dye T-shirt. His name was Joe.


I implored the team to be kind to this young and svelte Jerry Garcia. The team obliged and it wasn’t long before this kid was acting just like every other kid. He ran all summer preparing for the upcoming season. He turned out to be a great runner too. High school coaches tend to get excited when they see a quality athlete emerge in their freshman year and I was certainly no exception in my delight of this newfound acquisition.
 

We had scads of fun and just a skosh of monkeyshine thrown in for good measure that summer vacation. There were the cartoons and breakfasts each weekday after our morning runs. I needed something to bribe the kids to show up to run at 6AM every day and Bugs Bunny and the Lucky Charms leprechaun seemed to do the trick. Joe did his best to be alert and affable for this sunrise session and he contributed cereal to our food reserves.
 

Joe acclimated very well to the new school year in his new hometown. He met loads of friends through his running colleagues. His running prowess earned him many accolades on the daily school announcements and he soon became a household name.
 

As the season progressed, our team had dinners on the eve of the cross country meets. Each parent took turns hosting these spaghetti nights throughout those several months. It was quite fun unless you were the one hosting that gaggle of fifteen hungry and energetic teenage boys. I’m sure that Joe’s parents agreed with me on that note. The memories are what keep a person alive forever. I took Joe and his running mates to the County Fair after a practice. Joe and the boys ate too much and rode on the Tilt-A-Whirl one time too many. It was a journey home that was fraught with much nausea and frequent stops.
 

There was a report of some hooligan that ran through a McDonalds naked and looked strikingly similar to a Joe Trimmel. The report on this sophomoric prank was sketchy at best because of the Halloween mask.
 

I still picture Joe rolling around the floor in twelve hundred one dollar bills after our big fundraiser that season. He un-bundled the cash and was happily throwing money in the air. It was fun to watch him so carefree.
 

The stories of Joe and the team continued on from that memorable season. I was able to reflect more fully on these and many more anecdotes when I arrived back in Indiana the day we said goodbye to Joe. I shared these moments with my former athletes who have now become my close friends.
 

I was excited to see most of Joe’s teammates and his teammates’ family members attend Joe’s final celebration. That once quiet little boy who showed up for cross country practice years earlier was now the reason that scores of us came together to see him cross the finish line one last time. Thanks for a great race Joe!
 

This article of thanks is brought to you by that guy who will one day run again with Joe. That grateful guy is Ron Blake and he can be reached at rblake5551@hotmail.com.

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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 ataskunclebarbie@aol.com

MAKING YOUR HOME A HATE-FREE ZONE

 

Dear Uncle Barbie

Right now I'm living with a roommate who doesn't know that I cross-dress. Soon my lease is going to expire, and I have three options. I can tell my roommate that I cross-dress and renew my lease with him, I can live by myself or, I can find a LGBT friendly roommate. I'm trying to decide the best option in regards to my living situation as I would prefer to have a roommate.

Signed, Confused

 

Hello, Confused,

Your situation is very sensitive because it deals with your home. People want to feel safe and comfortable in their homes. And, it sounds like you want to feel free to be yourself in your home. So, unless your current roommate has a tendency to act violently or has expressed a homophobic attitude, I think that I would give that person the benefit of the doubt, and tell him/her that you cross-dress.

 

Basically, you want your home to be a hate-free zone. And, while we are on the subject of a hate-free zone, there is no guarantee that if you found a LGBT friendly roommate that he/she would not have a hateful attitude towards another group. Let’s face it; not all gay people are open an accepting of other groups. Think about how some people in the LGBT community have responded to conservative, religious groups. I have seen protests demonstrations by gay people who were literally spitting out words of hate. Just go online into any social media network, and you can read for yourself the hate talk—by all different kinds of groups. And, to be fair, there are some positive messages in social media, too—but not much.

 

One last point: you indicated that you could live by yourself. Let’s shine a new light on that point of view. Instead of thinking that you are living “by” yourself, try thinking that you are living “with” yourself. Speaking as a person who has lived with myself for six years now, I can assure you that it is not bad or lonesome. No matter who you are, it is important to enjoy your own company. I guess this deals with self-acceptance. If you truly like yourself, you will not mind living with yourself. Just something to think about.


Loving yourself & loving others, Uncle Barbie

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Horoscopes 

 


ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19)
In some ways life is a little to easy at this time.  You are lacking direction and purpose.  It’s time to reflect and draw up new plans for your life.

 

TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20)
You feel others are putting a lot of pressure on you to do more and their way.  Maybe others ideas is what you need now.  Think about it.

 

GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20)
You need to start thinking about your health and what you can do to improve it.  And don’t start something you cant’ finish or it will turn around and bit you.

 

CANCER (Jun 21-July 22)
Hard work makes for a lot of creativity.  Your philosophy is undergoing a change in your life.  A new path awaits you.

 

LEO (July 23-Aug 22)
You tend to be a little short tempered here when others don’t agree with you.  It’s also time to check long-term finances as they are not as they appear.

 

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22)
Your ability to get things done will run into a brick wall, this period.  Bide your time for now because it will soon be over.

 


LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22)
All is going well.  You work hard and efficient and there are rewards for it.  People seek you out to settle differences and oblige.  An old surprise shows up.
 

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21)
You are thinking about you now and feeling good about everything.  You have learned some new things about yourself, which empowers you to a degree.

 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21)
Well you are feeling good about yourself and it shows in your interaction with others.  Be prepared for some do overs coming up.  There is an opportunity here.

 

CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19)
Listen to your friends and watch your spending.  Your life is going thru a transformation.  Embrace it and take heart in the illumination it provides your life.

 

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18)
You have been steam rolling right along but remember haste makes waste.  It’s all good for your future plans.

 

PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20)
Don’t take on more then you can chew.  You can do magic but you are not a magician.  Do one thing at a time and do it well. 

Not To Be Missed

 


DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

Los Angeles
 

Just in time for Halloween, the hit comedy-thriller, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde returns to the Davidson/Valentini Theater, in LA, for three spooky, hilarious evenings, October 29, 30, and 31. Written by and starring Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromber, this two-person comedy, based on the original story by Robert Louis Stevenson, will have you in stitches! General admission for this event is $20. There will be a costume contest on Halloween night, October 31. The Davidson/Valenti Theater is located at 1125 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA, 90038. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 323-860-7300 or go to

lalgbtcenter.org.

 

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

Los Angeles
 

Justin Timberlake will be in Los Angeles for his Man of the Woods 2018 Tour on November 20, 2018, at the Honda Center, in Anaheim, CA, and on November 27, at the Staples Center, in LA, just in case you want to make the trip. He’s also scheduled to be in Fresno on December 3, 2018. Timberlake is known for his award winning shows! He’s always a crowd pleaser! For more information, go to justintimberlake.com. For tickets, go to the center sites or use your favorite ticket seller!

 

TWENTY ONE PILOTS

Oakland
 

Twenty One Pilots will perform their Banditos Tour 2018 at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, CA, on November 11, 2018. Twenty One Pilots is a popular musical group, known for its indie pop and hip-hop sounds, that was originally formed in Columbus, Ohio. They have won Grammy awards and toured internationally. For tickets or more information, go to oracle.arenaoakland.com.

 

JOAN BAEZ

San Francisco
 

In what has been billed as her final tour, Joan Baez will be performing at The Masonic, in San Francisco, CA, on Thursday, November 15, 2018. Known for her social activism and contemporary folk music, Baez has performed publicly for the past 60 years. The Masonic is located at 1111 California Street, San Francisco, CA, 94108. For tickets or more information, go to nobhillmasonic.centersanfrancisco.com



HOBB'S GROVE
Sanger


Hobb’s Grove is having its annual Halloween event again this year! In case you’ve forgotten, Hobb’s Grove has hayrides and haunted buildings to experience, along with peddlers, music, and food. Hobb’s Grove is located at 14265 E. Goodfellow Ave, Sanger, CA. For more information, go to hobbsgrove.com. Most of their information is also located on their Face Book page. They also list a phone number, 559-356-3958, for more information.

Calendar of Events

 
 

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Contact Us

P O Box 4959, Fresno, CA 93744

newslnk@aol.com  |  Tel: 559-266-5465

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