Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 2012 Newsleter

 Below is our August Newsletter.

If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter you can join our mailing list by visiting our main site.
(Don't worry, we promise not to spam you or sell your information.... Look for 1, maybe 2, emails from us a month.)

Gay Central Valley Newsletter: Volume 1 / August 2012
Welcome to the new Gay Central Valley newsletter! Each month we plan to bring you a quick look at what's going on with Gay Central Valley, the Fresno LGBT Community Center, and the Rainbow Delegation.

Note from GCV President Chris Jarvis.... 

It's been a busy summer for Gay Central Valley. In June we marched in the Fresno Pride Parade and manned 3 booths at the Pride Festival and partnered with the San Francisco New Conservatory Theater Center to bring "The Laramie Project - 10 Years Later" to Fresno at the Unitarian Universalist Church. In July, we had our 3rd annual LGBT Fireworks Stand and launched our new Cultural Competency Training Program (our first session was with employees of the Marjaree Mason Center, informing and teaching them about LGBT history and how to assist LGBT people).  And, on July 13th, we brought the NOH8 Campaign to Fresno for the first time ever!

We also took over the Rainbow Delegation from Matt Mazzei. Matt was a visionary in establishing the program, but it eventually became too large for a small group of people to continue without knowing where the necessary funding would be coming from. Gay Central Valley happily stepped in to make sure the project survives.

During this same time, we have added even more LGBT social and support groups to our roster at the Fresno LGBT Community Center, bringing our current total to about 15 groups that meet regularly.  The Community Center, a project of Gay Central Valley, continues to grow and expand every day.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, operating with an all volunteer board of directors and staff, this takes a lot of work, and we couldn't do it without the selfless contributions of those who work with us. We are hugely grateful for the generous efforts and hard work of the many volunteers who facilitate our programs, staff the Community Center, work at events, and all the other little tasks that help us keep going.

As we move forward, we will be working with and sponsoring Fresno Reel Pride, creating a Fresno LGBT History Project, organizing more events (health workshops, social occasions, etc), and preparing to celebrate the two year anniversary of the founding of the Fresno LGBT Community Center.The future is bright, and we look forward to taking the journey with all of you...
New at Gay Central Valley!
We have made some changes to our websites. The URLs haven’t changed… but the content is new and, we think, great. Check them out!
Gay Central Valley Main Site:   Resource Links, Cultural Competency, Open Positions, Ways to Show Your Support, Photos, and More!  

Fresno LGBT Community Center Main Site:  : Featuring the new logo, the site also offers, Book Choice of the Month, Meet the staff, Calendar of Ongoing Center Events, Sponsors, Location/Hours, Volunteer Opportunities, and More!

Rainbow Delegation:   Gay Central Valley took over the Rainbow Delegation earlier this summer. Read all about the changes, find out how to get your bracelet, see photos and read testimonials all on the new RD website!

Gay Central Valley Blog: News articles, op-eds, community submitted pieces, celebrity interviews, and local even coverage all in one place!

Article Re-Wind
July was a busy month, and not just in Fresno…. In case you missed anything, here are some of the most popular stories and articles:

Community Corner:

Community Note...Since we're still hearing the question fairly frequently, we'd like to clarify again that Gay Central Valley and Gay Fresno are completely separate entities. Gay Central Valley is an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which also operates the Fresno LGBT Community Center and the Rainbow Delegation. Gay Fresno is a local website and is not a nonprofit organization. 

Would you like to become more active? Click Here to find out what volunteer and donation option is the right choice for you!

Have you heard about our new Cultural Competency Training Programs? In today's world, the LGBT community is one of the most misunderstood groups out there. Our educational seminars offer the chance for businesses or groups to become educated and aware in a casual small group environment. We have three available programs to choose fromClick Here for more information
Staff Star of the Month

We want to take this opportunity to toot the horn of one of our very awesome volunteers….. this month’s pick is Lisa, Head Librarian for the Fresno LGBT Community Center.

Lisa started showing up at the Community Center, just to help out. She wasn't even an official volunteer, but she displayed a passion for volunteering that was evident from the start. That's an admirable step on its own, one we specifically look for when gauging whether volunteers are in for the long run.

Shortly afterward, we had a volunteer ask for a day off due to other obligations, and we asked if Lisa could step into a Saturday shift so that we would still be open on the days our schedule promised. Lisa immediately said she would do it, no hesitation.

On that first day, the list of duties that Lisa completed (without being asked) was astonishing. We were immediately impressed with her initiative. Shortly afterwards, we approached Lisa about taking a day at the Center as an official staff member and she immediately agreed. She continued to display the kind of motivation and dedication that is necessary in a volunteer, particularly when she agreed to take on an extra day a week while we are short staffed. (We are currently down a staff member due to maternity leave… if you want to volunteer, please contact us at

Most importantly, Lisa has taken on the duties of Librarian for the LGBT Community Center, organizing and cataloguing our books and DVDs, as well as programming our new library software system, which will make using our free media library a breeze.

Lisa has been a wonderful addition to the GCV team. Her tireless energy and her dedication to the Library is inspiring. Thank you Lisa!
You can read more about our staff here. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here for more information about our open positions. 

Sister Spotlight:

We aren't the only group in the Central Valley working for the LGBT Community. Each month we want to shed some very deserving light on one of our sister organizations.

This month’s pick is My LGBT Plus

My Lgbt Plus is an online interactive resource for the LGBT+ community led by Founder Justin Kamimoto. Together with an excellent volunteer staff, My Lgbt Plus is primarily a youth run resource with the guidance of adult mentors.

First debuted as a Facebook group called LGBT Groups of Central Valley in late 2010, My Lgbt Plus spurred through the use of the social media website Facebook. Within 72 hours of creation, LGBT Groups of Central Valley grew to over 300 members highlighting the importance of having an online support system for the community, and primarily to youth. This new safe and supportive environment allowed members of the LGBT+ community to share stories, post events and receive and give support and advice.In June 2011, a new invigorating new idea branched out from LGBT Groups of Central Valley Facebook Page to a website loaded with features to provide more access to Central Valley resources.

Dedicated to providing an online safe zone 24 hours, 7 days a week, My Lgbt Plus debuted on November 19, 2011 at the First Congregational Church (Big Red Church), home of the annual Expression Not Suppression Youth Conference where Kamimoto first got his start in advocating for the LGBT+ community. The focus behind the name is when individuals say, "My Lgbt Plus" they know it's a resource for them, the LGBT and our + community covering the umbrella of different identities within our community. This November celebrates the one year of operation for My Lgbt Plus and what a year they have had!

The primary focuses of My Lgbt Plus is to promote community awareness through an online website, hosting social events once a month and featuring Central Valley organizations and individuals to thank them for the work they do. So far My Lgbt Plus has been recognized as a force to be reckoned with. They have so much to offer the LGBT+ community!  Please visit their website and show your support!


Thank you all for reading! If you would like to contact Gay Central Valley, you can do so by calling 559-325-4429 or emailing us at


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