Friday, June 29, 2012

GCV Fireworks Stand Opens TODAY!




Gay Central Valley's FIREWORKS STAND opens today! (Friday, June 29th, 2012). We are the only LGBT Fireworks Stand in Fresno. We are located at the corner of Van Ness & Belmont Avenue and we are open the following hours...

FRIDAY JUNE 29TH          2PM-10PM
SATURDAY JUNE 30TH   NOON-10PM
SUNDAY JULY 1ST            2PM-10PM
MONDAY JULY 2ND        2PM-10PM
TUESDAY JULY 3RD         NOON-10PM
WEDNESDAY JULY 4TH  10AM-10PM

This is Gay Central Valley's 3rd year of operating a fireworks stand in Fresno as an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All proceeds from the Fireworks Stand go to Gay Central Valley and the Fresno LGBT Community Center. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we encourage you to participate.

Don't forget about the new laws in Fresno, which allow citizens to shoot off fireworks 365 days a year, rather than just on July 4th, as had been previously designated. Now you can use your fireworks every day of the year, to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays and any other celebration you may have during the calendar year. True, fireworks are only up for sale for one week a year, but you are now legally safe to use them every day of the year, for whatever event you're celebrating...!

Our stand this year is located at the northeast corner of Van Ness and Belmont, just a short distance from the Fresno LGBT Community Center. 

We have lots of great BUY ONE GET ONE FREE deals this year, as well as a FREE DRAWING...
So please visit us between June 29th and July 4th. Get some great celebration supplies while supporting the Fresno LGBT Community Center.

We look forward to seeing you there...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sexually Trafficked Youth Need LGBT Support


Courtesy Washington Times
Written by Holly Smith


WASHINGTON, DC, June 27 2012 - As celebrations for Gay Pride Month come to a close, I’d like to take a moment to point out a troubling gap in services for gay and transgender youth who have been commercially sexually exploited.

In March of this year, Project Q Atlanta reported that Atlanta drag queen personality Pasha Nicole received a 14-year prison sentence for “forcing a transgender teenager into prostitution,” among other offenses related to trafficking.

Nicole, known legally as Christopher Thomas Lynch, was charged alongside her 35-year-old roommate and gay bar go-go dancer, Steven Donald Lemery.   WSBTV reported the following pending charges against Lemery:  five counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of human trafficking, child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes, and pandering by compulsion.
What’s most troubling in this story is the trauma inflicted on the victims.

Read More HERE...

NGLCC Seeks Help in Fresno

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is seeking help in the Fresno area. For the first time, the NGLCC will be working in the Fresno area. They are seeking people interested in being site inspectors for LGBT and LGBT Friendly businesses in the Fresno area which could be included in their guide.

Please read below for all the details...


About the NGLCC
As the business advocate and direct link between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owners, corporations, and government, the NGLCC represents the interests of more than an estimated 1.4 million LGBT businesses and entrepreneurs. We are committed to forming a broad-based coalition of LGBT-owned and -friendly businesses, government representatives, and major corporations for the purpose of promoting economic growth and the prosperity of the LGBT community.

We have four arms: Supplier Diversity, Corporate Relations, Affiliate Relations, and Government Advocacy.

Our Supplier Diversity department works with small, LGBT-owned business to get them certified as businesses who are 51% or more owned, operated, and controlled by LGBT person(s).

Why? Our Corporate Partners have committed to buying back from the LGBT small business community and honor LGBT as a designation when they use them as suppliers in daily operations and purchasing. We are the exclusive organization that grants LGBT certification; we follow similar procedures from our partner organizations, such as the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Women Business Enterprise National Council, U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the National Black Justice Coalition. Together, we identify eligible small businesses so that they may do business with a Corporate America that is inclusive of minority groups.

Call for Site Visitors
As part of the NGLCC’s certification program, the Site Visit is crucial for two reasons: (1.) site visits provide face-to-face contact with our organization, and (2.) site visits corroborate the documents that LGBT owners submit to our headquarters to prove their business is LGBT-owned. This process is rigorous, which is why we need site visitors.

Site visitors tour the LGBT-owner’s site, or business facilities, and conduct an interview of the owners. The whole process takes less than an hour, and as a token of our appreciation, the NGLCC reimburses all travel-related costs, such as mileage, public transport, tolls, and parking.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering as a site visitor, please have them reach me at the number below or this e-mail address. We ask all site visitors to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and undergo a brief, 15-minute, over-the-phone training that discusses the documents we utilize. I’ve attached those documents for any interested folks to peruse

The Fresno Connection
We have our first applicant ever in the Fresno area. This is exciting because this applicant has shown boldness in identifying herself as an LGBT business owner. We expect that she will be an inspiration to others, so we need your help. We hope to increase awareness and presence of LGBT business owners especially in areas that are unexpected.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In sum, we thank you—it’s precisely folks like you that help expand our community and bring it to new heights. I look forward to building a strong alliance and perhaps someday breaking ground on the Fresno Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Best always,
Marcus Markle
Fellow, Supplier Diversity Initiative
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce® (NGLCC)
www.nglcc.org | 1.202.234.9181

Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform (Full Ruling)


Read the full ruling HERE

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

VIDEO: Keeping His Word

National HIV Testing Day


Courtesy Huffington Post


 
June 27 marks National HIV Testing Day (NHTD), designated as an annual campaign to remind Americans how and when to get tested.

The "Take the Test, Take Control" initiative was reportedly developed in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) in direct response to the growing number of HIV/AIDS infections across the country, particularly those in communities of color and other heavily impacted communities. 

As CBS is reporting, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage everyone ages 13-64 get tested for HIV at least once. High-risk individuals -- including sexually active gay and bisexual men, injection drug users or people with multiple sex partners -- are urged by the agency to get tested once a year.

"A record number of Americans living with HIV know their HIV status," writes Dr. Thomas Frieden of the CDC in a blog. "Knowing your HIV status is a critical first step to getting life-saving treatment and care. Importantly, people who know they have HIV are much less likely to spread their infection to others."

Read More HERE

For more information on HIV testing in Fresno, please contact the Fresno County Dept. of Public Health…



Phone: (559) 600-3434 Fax: (559) 600-3370 Email: dph@co.fresno.ca.us Address: 1221 Fulton Mall Fresno, CA 93721

FREE condoms and dental dams are available Wed-Sat, Noon – 5PM at the Fresno LGBT Community Center at 1055 N Van Ness Avenue Suite A, Fresno, CA 93728 559-325-4429. The Community Center also has a wide array of HIV & STD information, fliers and brochures available for free.

Monday, June 25, 2012

VIDEO: Los Angeles Gay Pride 2012 (A Piece of It)

VIDEO: OccuPride at SF Pride 2012


OccuPride broke through the Market Street barriers to assume second place after the Dykes on Bikes at San Francisco's 42nd annual Pride celebration. Those of us who remember the pride marches of the early 70's believe that Pride is about more than celebration. What does Pride mean to you?

VIDEO: SF Pride Parade 2012 Dykes on Bikes

Friday, June 22, 2012

Update on SB 1172.


You might remember that the CA Senate passed SB 1172 back in May.

The bill would make California the first state in the nation to ban licensed mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts of any kind for a minor patient, regardless of a parent's willingness or desire to authorize participation in such programs.

The next step is for the bill to be passed by the CA Assembly.

The Assembly has a meeting on the 26th of this month which will determine if the bill will be pushed through before the summer recess, which is just around the corner. If not, then the bill will be heard in August..

We will keep you posted.

Another note re SB 1172.

It did pass the Senate... but our local state Senator Michael Rubio did not cast a vote. I have tried repetitively to get an answer to why the Senator did not vote, but after numerous phone run arounds and vague email answers that amount to "well, it passed,...." I have given up getting a straight answer. The fact is, Senator Rubio did not vote for or against this bill. A suspicious mind might wonder if he is going to join the ranks of fair weather friends...


When the bill comes up for vote in the assembly, we will be counting on our local Rep Perea to do the right thing and vote for the bill.  We will have more information on how you can encourage the Assembly man in the coming weeks. 




Thursday, June 21, 2012

Retirement planning checklist for LGBT Americans



From Reuters

Magnet on sale at http://www.zazzle.com/old_gay_couple_magnet-147157276136896479








When it comes to retirement security, LGBT Americans still have a long way to go. The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is a core obstacle to equality for a range of important benefits and legal protections, because it defines the word "spouse" as applying only to different-sex married couples for any purpose involving interpretation of federal law.

The ground is shifting quickly, though. Legal challenges related to DOMA and same-sex marriage are making their way toward the Supreme Court. And the workplace is changing quickly as companies reshape their benefit programs to ensure equality.

But LGBT individuals and couples also can take action on their own to improve their retirement security.

Here's a checklist of five key areas LGBT Americans should be sure to address....


An LGBT Message from US Secretary of Defense



U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently saluted gay members of the military for their service.




Times... they are a'changing!




Monday, June 18, 2012

Community Thank You!

Gay Central Valley would like to thank everyone who helped make "The Laramie Project - 10 Years Later"such a success!



A Special Thank You to the San Francisco New Conservatory Theatre Center. Your performance was outstanding!

Thank you also to our community supporters who donated toward our raffle prizes: support them here!

A big Thank You to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Clovis who donated rooms for the cast and crew and to Fresh N Easy who helped us feed the cast and crew!

Thank you also to The North Tower Circle and the fabulous performers at the "Come Together" drag show featuring Horchata Fresca and Friends!

A special thank you to the congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno. Your support was heart warming!

A VERY Special thanks to the Bulldog Pride Fund, The Harvey Milk Project, Community Link, My LGBT Plus, Get EQUAL, and the GSA Network for all their support and hard work as well!

We couldn't have done it without you all!

Check out some great photos by My LGBT Plus here!





Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Laramie Project - 10 Years Later



Courtesy Fresno Beehive

By Donald Munro - Fresno Bee

In Friday's 7 section I feature an interview with Sara Staley, director of the San Francisco-based New Conservatory Theatre Center's touring production of "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later." This follow-up to the famed original "Laramie Project," which focused on the murder of Matthew Shepard, plays 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

The tour is produced in association with the Bulldog Pride Fund at Fresno State, Community Link, Gay Central Valley, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Get Equal, My Lgbt Plus, the Rainbow Delegation and the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Here's the extended version of my interview with Staley:

Question: When did Moises Kaufman and his company return to Laramie for the ten-year followup? When did your own production debut?

Answer: Members of Tectonic Theater Project returned to Laramie Wyoming on September 12th 2008, just a month before the 10 year anniversary of Matthew Shepard's death. The New Conservatory Theater Center (NCTC) presented the San Francisco premiere run of "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later" from March 23-April 29, 2012 as part of our Pride Season of plays.

Some people aren't familiar with the original "Laramie Project" and the Matthew Shepard story. Can you give a brief recap about him, the national reaction to his murder and Kaufman's theater piece?

On October 6, 1998, a gay University of Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard, left the Fireside Bar in Laramie Wyoming with two young men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. The following day he was discovered at the edge of town. He had been tied to a fence, brutally beaten, and was close to death.

By the following day, Matthew's attack and the town of Laramie had become the focus of an international news story. On October 12, 1998 Matthew Shepard died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins, Colorado. Matthew Shepard's death and it's aftermath launched the nation into a dialogue about how we think and talk about homosexuality, and the difference between tolerance and acceptance in America. Henderson and McKinney were both convicted and are serving two consecutive life sentences for the murder of Matthew Shepard.

In November 1998, four weeks after Matthew Shepard's murder, nine members of Tectonic Theater Project travelled to Laramie to collect interviews with people from the town. They returned to Laramie many times over the next year and half conducting over 200 interviews which became the material for "The Laramie Project." Moisés Kaufman, founder and Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project, said that one of their goals was to find out how theater could contribute to a national dialogue on current events. They also wanted to learn how is Laramie different from the rest of the country and how is it similar. "The Laramie Project" premiered at The Ricketson Theatre by the Denver Center Theatre Company in February of 2000. The play has since become one of the most widely performed plays in the last ten years staged by high schools, colleges, and community theaters across the country, as well as professional playhouses in the United States and worldwide. "The Laramie Project" is often used as part of a grassroots effort to help combat homophobia and promote tolerance and acceptance of the LGBT community.

Did Kaufman use the same structure as the original for this follow-up piece in terms of actors portraying both themselves and townspeople on stage? How many cast members are in your production?
"The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later" debuted as a reading at nearly 150 theatres across the US and internationally on October 12, 2009 -- the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's Murder. The Tectonic Theater Project held their production at the Alice Tully Hall in The Lincoln Center in New York, where company members did play themselves as well as other people in the town. The New Conservatory production features a very talented cast of four men and four women who play over 30 roles, including Tectonic Theater Project members Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber.

Did you ever direct or were involved in a production of the original "Laramie Project"? If so, what is it like revisiting the material? If not, how did you prepare?
I have not been fortunate enough to ever direct a production of "The Larmie Project." As a director there is an abundance of material available to immerse yourself in the world of the play because it's based on actual events and the "characters" are real people.
Matthew Shepard's murder resontates with me on many levels. We were born the same year, and he was killed the same year that I graduted from the Theater Department at UCLA. Since 2001, I've been the director of the YouthAware Educational Theatre program at NCTC, where we use theater to educate young audiences about issues like HIV prevention, bullying, homophobia, diversity, respect, and school safety. http://www.nctcsf.org/YouthAware.html Matthew Shepard also had interest in advocating rights for LGBT youth, and The Shepard Symposium on Social Justice (renamed for Matthew in 2002) is an annual spring event at the University of Wyoming that seeks to engage participants in discussion and analyses of strategies and actions that can eliminate social inequality.

In the original "Laramie Project," the members of Kaufman's company actually went to the town to conduct interviews and then played themselves on stage. In subsequent productions, other actors played those roles, adding another layer of interpretation to the experience, I guess you could say. What are your thoughts on this? Is it hard to capture the authenticity of having the original actor/interviewers in these roles? How did you approach this as a director?
I think one of our biggest responsibilities as as theater artists is our ability to to tell stories. Hopefully these stories reflect something about society that makes audiences reflect on their own lives and the ability they have in their own community to create change. Telling these stories truthfully and authentically is always at the top of the "to do" list as a theater artist. I think this script offered actors the same challenges that any script does in having to decide on the motivation, wants and needs for their characters in any given moment. The bigger challenge for the actors was playing so many roles, and differentiating between these characters clearly whent they might change from one to the next within a few lines on the same page.
As a director, I was less concered about them playing the people completely authentically as I was in making sure their character distinctions and choices were clear from one to the next. One of the main themes of The Laramie Project:Ten Years Later is the need for members of that community to tell their story about how Matthew Shaprd's murder shaped their town in the ten years following his death. Of course a big objective for the Tectonic Theater Project members was to tell this story, or write the ten years later play. Once my cast connected with this basic desire and shied away from treating any of these people as too "precious" , then the play really started to gain momentum as a compelling piece of theater. These characters/people have flaws and redeeming qualities just like any other characters real or fictional.

I understand that a narrative among some of the Laramie townspeople has risen over the years that Shepard's murder wasn't a hate crime but a drug deal gone bad. What are your thoughts? Is this a significant storyline of the "10 Years Later" production?
Yes, the play references a "20/20" episode that came out in 2004, which implied that Matthew Shepard's murder wasn't necessarily a hate crime, but could have just been drug, money or sex related. The play also indicates that the people in Laramie have a strong desire to own or control their history, and for many the "20/20" piece had an extremely negative impact because it included many inaccuracies (including interviews with both killers) that went against facts from the trial.
We watched the "20/20" episode in its entirety as a company, and it brought up a lot of emotions with my cast and crew. Because "20/20" is a "respected" news source, it shows the power that the media's interpretation has in this story as well. I think the bottom line is that the brutality of the crime itself reflects more than just a robbery or drug deal gone bad. Only Matthew Shepard, Aaron McKinney, and maybe Russell Henderson know the reality of what happened the night of the attack, but the legacy that the death of Matthew Shepard has created has been invaluable in opening up a dialogue about equal rights for the LGBT community in America.

Were you surprised by what Kaufman and his company found when they revisited Laramie?
Yes, we talked a lot about this play as a cast before we ever started to get it on its feet and "The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later" does what it is meant to do in that regard by continuing the conversation that "The Laramie Project" started around LGBT hate crimes, rights, and acceptance in the United States. The impact of the "20/20" episode surprised us all, as well as how the issues that the people of Laramie are dealing with parallel LGBT civil rights issues that the entire nation has been dealing with over the last ten years. 

Talk a little about the New Conservatory Theatre and your touring production. How many cities are you visiting? How did you connect with the local Fresno organizations sponsoring the production?
The New Conservatory Theatre Center (NCTC) was founded in 1981 by our Artistic Director Ed Decker as a Conservatory for young actors. NCTC is now a three-faceted organization with acting and musical theater classes for ages 6 to adult, the YouthAware Educational Theatre program also created by Ed Decker in response to the AIDS epidemic (which showed the need for theatre-in-education for young audiences around difficult social and health issues), and the Pride Season of plays for the queer and allied community. NCTC's home is a three theatre complex in the heart of San Francisco's Civic Center area.
"The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later" is the first of NCTC's new Pride on Tour program. Our hope is to bring together LGBT and allied community members and organizations around this production in areas where there might not be access to programming or events of this nature. We kick off the tour June 1st in Grass Valley at the Don Baggett Theatre, perform at The Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto on June 14th , and we will close the inaugural Pride on Tour with our performances at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno on June 16th at 7:30pm and June 17th at 3pm. Ed Decker did the leg work in bringing LGBT and allied organizations together in Fresno to sponsor these performances.

Ultimately, what does "The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later" say in terms of a commentary on human nature? Do you consider it a more optimistic piece than the original?
"The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later" features interviews that the Laramie Project did not, with both convicted killers (the first play only features their commentary from trial transcripts), as well as an interview Moisés Kaufman conducted with Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard.
Judy has become an advocate for LGBT rights and hate crime legislation since her son's death, and I think her interview sums up the play best. She speaks about ten years of change but no progress in terms of LGBT equality, and Moisés notes her anger now compared to when he first met her during the trial for Matthew's murderers. I think the Ten Years Later play is a call to action. The need to continue to tell this story is evident in how issues of LGBT equality still dominates much of our political discourse. This play deals with issues like the Defense of Marriage Act and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Issues that resonate with every community in every city in every state. As noted in the play "Laramie is just like my town." The microscope was placed over this community after Matthew's murder, but we all need to examine the issues reflected in the play and ask ourselves if our community is one that accepts everyone now matter who they are, what they look like or what they believe in. LGBT rights parallel civil right issues for many disinfranchised groups throughout history, and we need to continue to observe, listen, reflect and learn from the stories of our past before we can move forward and promote positive change in the future.

Anything else you'd like to add?
A big part of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is opening up a dialogue on issues that might be otherwise difficult to approach. Our audiences play an important part in that dialogue. All of our touring performances will feature post-show discussions with myself and the cast, so I encourage community members in Fresno to help us spread the word about these shows, and to come see the play and lend their voices to the discussion afterwards. That will be a really interesting part of the experience for myself, the actors and everyone in the audience to hear how these issues are reflected within the different communities we visit.


Gay Central Valley Thanks Our Sponsors...


Gay Central Valley would like to thank our generous sponsors for donating raffle prizes and silent auction items for our event fundraising efforts...Please patronize these generous businesses...Click on their names to visit their websites and for more information...

Fresno Reel Pride
 






The mission of Fresno Reel Pride is to increase the awareness of the gay and lesbian community through the exhibition of films and videos exploring gay and lesbian themes at an annual festival in Fresno. Fresno Reel Pride, through the universal appeal of movies, works to produce a major cultural event for the entire Central Valley community designed to enhance community acceptance and understanding while adding to the diversity of a culturally rich city.

Idle Hour Winery









Idle Hour Winery is Oakhurst’s Award-winning Winery. We are located at the Queen’s Inn By The River, a quaint 8-room inn and winebar on the Fresno River. Our wines are produced in small lots.
We use sustainably grown grapes and make the wine gently, using native yeasts, gravity flow and other traditional methods.

Macys Fresno






Fashion Fair Mall - 4888 N. Fresno Street Fresno, CA 93726 559/228-3333

CW Ceramics









CW Ceramics is a traditional ceramic studio and maker of greenware in Fresno, CA. Our ceramics are proudly made in the USA and made on-site in our family owned and operated studio. We also offer classes taught by Duncan Certified Ceramic Teachers. Our studio has a large selection of molds and 2 on-site kilns. We can handle specialty firings.

Cafe Rousseau Fresno















568 E Olive Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728 559-445-1536

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sizzler Pays NYC Lesbian $25,000 After Anti-Gay Attack

From Queerty



Almost two years after Liza Friedlander was viciously attacked by staff and diners at a Sizzler in Queens, a New York judge has awarded her $25,000, citing the restaurant violated state law by allowing her to be discriminated against in a public accommodation.



In September 2010, Friedlander and her friends hit up the breakfast bar at the Sizzler in Forest Hills. While she was standing, restaurant manager Edgar Orellana shoved Friedlander in the chest hard enough to knock her down. Orellana proceeded to kick her, call her “a fucking dyke” and tell her to get out.

Soon enough, other patrons joined in—shouting homophobic slurs and throwing objects at her. One man called her a “he-she freak,” another threatened to show her “what a dick is.” Friedlander’s friends called 911 and the victim was eventually taken to the hospital.

“I was attacked and threatened by people yelling terrible anti-LGBT slurs, throwing things at me and threatening to sexually assault me,” says Friedlander, represented in her case by Lambda Legal. “On that day, I felt helpless, humiliated and frightened, but today I’m so proud that I stood up and did something about it. No one should have to go through a nightmare like that.”

Natalie Chin, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, says the verdict sends a message that bias attacks against  will not be tolerated: “Businesses are not exempt from treating LGBT people with dignity and respect.”


Loving v Virginia.... and what it means for the LGBT Community

Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia -- the Supreme Court decision declaring unconstitutional state laws banning inter-racial marriage.

Ted Olson and David Boies look back at the significance of this decision in the context of the fight for marriage equality.





VIDEO: DC Pride Drag Performances

Here are some drag performances from DC Pride. Some know the words to the songs, some don't. PLEASE GIRLS...learn the words to the songs. Doesn't matter how FABULOUS your outfit or your BACKUP dancers are...if you don't know the words to the song you simply didn't rehearse...

New Study Supports Genetics In Homosexuality


Wow...

First there was the study, years ago, that stated that the more male children a woman has, the more likely she is to have a gay son...that rule doesn't seem to apply to female children, but let me tell you, it hit me on the head when I heard it. I started asking gay male friends their birth order, and while far from scientific, I did hear a lot of them state "I'm the youngest". The youngest is the furthest along, and therefore more likely to be gay, by a fairly high percentage. It's interesting. Given the state of science in terms of the reasons for homosexuality, it's pretty much...interesting, but at least tackling the question. 

Let me just say, science doesn't know what make a person "straight" either...
Even the gayest of us has likely wondered from time to time, how does homosexuality play into the propagation of the species? Take out religion (please) and you have to wonder, whatever your orientation, how the LGBT community fits into the simple biological scheme of things. Reproduction is the basis for any species to multiply and survive, so why is the gay thing so constant since the dawn of time and why haven't we simply been chosen for extinction? 

Besides the fact that the LGBT community is so much more interesting than the rest...

Now there's a new study in the upcoming Journal of Sexual Medicine that attributes homosexuality to another intriguing factor...

The theory holds that the same genetic factors that induce gayness in males also promote fecundity (high reproductive success) in those males' female maternal relatives. Through this trade-off, the maternal relatives' "gay man genes," though they aren't expressed as such, tend to get passed to future generations in spite of their tendency to make their male inheritors gay.

"High fecundity, that means having more babies, is not about pleasure in sex, nor is it about promiscuity. The androphilic pattern that we found is about females who increase their reproductive value to attract the best males".

Basically, the study suggests that the genes that result in homosexuality in sons are the same genes, handed down, that make women, ironically, more attractive to men.

Turns out, the moms and aunts of gay men have an advantage over the moms and aunts of straight men for several reasons: They are more fertile, displaying fewer gynecological disorders or complications during pregnancy; they are more extroverted, as well as funnier, happier and more relaxed; and they have fewer family problems and social anxieties. "In other words, compared to the others, [they are] perfect for a male."

So, fellow gay males, our mom's are likely more appealing to men, because of a variety of factors, including humor, personality and demeanor. I don't know about you, but most of the mom's of gay men I know are a lot more fun to be around. Just saying. More importantly, it's another study which points to a genetic reason for homosexuality...

VIDEO: Crystal Waters @DC Pride 2012

VIDEO: Hillary Clinton Pride Month Message

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gay Parents Study Suggesting Downside For Kids Draws Fire From Social Scientists

Photo courtesy of CNN


Another example of why it is good to read beyond the headline..... and to use one's critical thinking skills when evaluating sensational science article.

Recently a whole slew of you sent us at GCV articles that suposivly linked having gay parents to children with a myriad of problems.

"The results suggested that children of these parents [invlved in same sex relationships] are more likely than kids in other family structures to be on public assistance, unemployed or in therapy as adults, among other negative outcomes."

There was, understandably some outcry.... and a lot of bigoted people on social media sites celebrating. at last, scientific proof that gay parents = bad parents.

Except... except the study is flawed. the sample size is small, the data was mined from a different study, and most importantly:"The study defined same-sex parenting by asking participants if their parents had ever had same-sex relationships, and whether they had lived with the parent at that time. That led to a "hodgepodge" group of people who Regnerus [the "scientist in charge] then compared with kids in stable, married homes."

In other words, kids from unstable homes are less likely to be as stable as kids in stable homes.... a finding that is neither new nor groundbreaking nor relevant to the topic of same-sex parents.

The Huffington Post has a great article detailing the flaws in the study, you can read it here, that we encourage you to share.

And again, don't be swayed by splashy headlines.... and don't forget to use your critical thinking skills. Ask yourself, is this a viable study? Was there a control group? How big was the sample size? Who paid for it? Was there an agenda already?


Fresno Stonewall Democrats Meeting



Fresno Stonewall Democrats will meet on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at Carrow's Restaurant, 4280 N. Blackstone at Ashlan in Fresno. Dinner and social 6:00 P.M. Meeting 7:00 P.M.

We will be reviewing our participation in the 2012 Pride parade and festival, discussing changes to our web hosting and web site administration as well as election-related activities and ideas for future outreach and fund raising.

Fresno Stonewall Democrats represents the interests of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the Fresno area through the Democratic Party.

For more information visit our web site at www.fresnostonewalldemocrats.org, email ckrugman@sbcglobal.net or call 266-9237.

Most LGBT-Friendly College Campuses: Campus Pride Index Top Rated Schools


From our friends over at HufPo



For people in the LGBT community heading to college, a welcoming campus is a high priority. The good news is Campus Pride has done in-depth reviews of more than 300 campuses throughout the country and rated them on their LGBT-friendliness.

Campus Pride rates the colleges based on more than two dozen issues dealing with academic and student life, policies, course offerings, campus safety and housing and health services. Instead of coming up with a top 10 ranking, they've put together ratings based on a ranking system with five stars.

Half of the 28 campuses with a five-star rating in either California, Oregon or Washington.

Campus Pride is a national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBT-Friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. Besides the ratings, they also work with school administrators to try to improve policies on campuses to become more welcoming toward LGBT students.

Take a look at the 28 five-star colleges on the Campus Pride Index here

California was well represented with: Stanford, Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, San Diego State, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, Humboldt State, and UC Southern CA,