Friday, January 24, 2014

Merced Fundraiser THANKS

THANK YOU to everyone who came out last night for Gay Central Valley’s first fundraiser in Merced to raise money to open an LGBT Community Center! 

Thanks to Merced Full Spectrum , a division of  Gay Central Valley for leading the way for LGBT equality in Merced. Thanks to Marissa and Jordan for their leadership and organization. Thanks to Tina at La Cascada, as well as the owners of the club for hosting the event. Thanks to our Merced performers and a special thanks to all the amazing performers who drove up from Fresno to be a part of the show. The night was a big success thanks to all who came out to support us!

This was the first of many fundraisers we will be holding in Merced to raise money for this important cause. Stay tuned to this blog and our Facebook pages for updates. 

LIKE our Facebook pages here…

Flu Update

From the Fresno County Dept Of Public Health...

The most current information on Flu Posted on the Fresno County Department of Public Health website main page.  Visit<> and click on the "In The News" scrolling feature under Fresno County Flu Update.  The page is updated daily.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The Fresno County Department of Public Health Flu Vaccination Clinic is open from 8:00 am - 12:00 pm and from 1:00 - 4:00 pm.  Extended hours applied only on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  You will be notified by e-mail if clinic hours are to be extended at any time in the future.  Changes to clinic hours will also be posted on the Fresno County Flu Update page.

Fresno County Department of Public Health

Information on public health issues affecting you and your community can be found on the Department of Public Health website at<>

Thursday, January 23, 2014

EVENT: Drag Show & Dance Party In Merced TONIGHT

TONIGHT is the night for our very first club fundraiser in Merced to raise funds for the
Gay Central Valley LGBT Community Center in Merced.

Gay Central Valley's goal since it's inception has been to open LGBT Community Centers throughout the Central Valley of California. Currently, the Fresno LGBT Community Center is the only such Center between Bakersfield and Sacramento.

Tonight, come to La Cascada in Merced for a dance party and Drag Show featuring performers from Merced and guest Drag Queen and Kings from Fresno.

If you'd like to attend, we urge you to come to this groundbreaking event in Merced. Imagine another LGBT Community Center in the city of Merced! All donations to the event are tax deductible, as Gay Central Valley is an official 501c3 nonprofit organization.

If you can't make it to this month's fundraiser, you can always contribute online to benefit the upcoming LGBT Community Center in Merced by visiting  to make a direct donation.

VIDEO: Virginia AG To Support Marriage Equality

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dis/orient/ed Comedy: Asian Pacific Women Blaze New Trails in Fresno

Fresno might have an underground of art and drama scenes.. but many feel that there is an aspect of “night life” that Fresno is lacking… stand up comedy.

Now, thanks in large part to the efforts of the CCAPW (Central California Asian Pacific Women), a local nonprofit whose mission is to empower all generations of AP women in the Central Valley, that oversight is no more.

On February 8th, at the Tower Theater, CCAPW is proud to present Dis/orient/ed Comedy, a show which is the first-ever nationally-touring stand up comedy showcase featuring the fresh and diverse voices of Asian American female comics.

The Fresno show includes veteran and up-and-coming comics who have been featured on Showtime television, Logo TV, the Comedy Store in Hollywood,&the San Jose Improv and the Best of SF by San Francisco Weekly.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Gena Lew Gong, President of Central CA Asian Pacific Women, to talk about CCAPW and the show. 

First off, some background on CCPAW. The organization has been around since 1980. It was originally created by women who wanted a place to network and for professional development specifically for Asian Pacific women. As the organization has grown, the mission has increased in scope and nowadays the group offers support in work transitions as well as a focus on the expanding roles of women in terms of working professionals and women at the midpoint of their careers. But while the demographic of the group is changing to facilitate a slightly older generation of women, the main program every year is still scholarship granting. Originally to help Asian Pacific women in the Central Valley attend college (many as the first daughter to do so), the scholarship program has been expanded recently to include graduate student level options. Many of the applications come from immigrant or refugee families who are low income. The chance for the women from these families to go to college is huge and it serves another ore tenant of CCAPW, to combat the stereotypes of the “good” or “proper” Asian woman.

Which brings us to women in comedy, specifically, Asian Pacific women in comedy.

“Here in the valley the Asian demographic is different than in other urban settings,” Gong says, “Overall it is important that we show that there are Asian Pacific women who are doing things outside the norm or expected. We want to highlight AP women doing all kinds of things and show that there are a variety of ways we can express ourselves opposed to just being the expected doctor / lawyer or wife/mother. We are excited to highlight these women, these comedic women, who are going after their, not typical, dreams and who are creating a new kind of role model for the community.”

The interplay between expected and stereotypes versus new avenues of self expression and professions outside the box will be the focus of a limited seating workshop the day after the show. Participants are invited to Fresno State to meet the comics and take part in a storytelling session. The panel of comics, fresh off of doing the first of its kind show here in Fresno, will talk about how they got started, what fuels them, comedy as passion, and how to deal with the obstacles and resistance from families and society when one chooses a different path.

That backlash and resistance is key to the identidy of any woman who breaks away from tradition, but it is very strongly felt in the Asian Pacific women community. While some Asian countries have made strides to support women in nontraditional roles, there is still a lot of work to be done for some of the “newer” South Asian women. Hmong and Cambodian women, for example typically have a harder time following a nontraditional dream. These women are first and second generation here in the Valley and as Gong says, “They face a lot of challenges. Their communities are still adjusting to the American Dream, and there is a struggle between the two cultures. The younger generation has a lot of difficulties negotiating for new roles… these women might be in college, but they still face an unequal expectation of home responsibility compared to their brothers etc.”

Which is why shows like this are so important, not only for the nightlife of Fresno, but the day to day life of the Asian Pacific women in our community.


Gay Central Valley is proud to be supporting the Dis/orient/ed show and the CCAPW. We hope you will join us on February 8th, 7:30 at the Tower Theater for what promises to be a night of laughter and impact.

For a chance to win tickets, please click here! 

VIDEO: Jon Stewart and the Homophobic Olympics

EVENT: The Lavender Convention

January 22, 2014

On Saturday March 8th, 2014 the first annual Lavender Convention will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fresno, CA. The convention is an all-day interfaith event aimed at bringing the LGBT community and faith based organizations together in learning andcelebration of spirituality in the LGBT community. It will be day of honoring and affirmingeach individual’s spiritual nature. 

The convention welcomes all who are interested in connecting with themselves at a deeper level, including those with no formal religious or spiritual beliefs or affiliations. The convention is an opportunity for each individual to explore
their own values and beliefs in a friendly, supportive and safe environment. 

Although local affirming congregations and organizations will be represented at the convention, the convention is not meant to recruit new church members, but rather to allow attendees to receive information and participate in experiences to assist them on their own individual spiritual journey. 

Our Mission Statement is as follows:

The Lavender Convention is a positive response to the historical exclusion of
LGBT people from religious institutions. The Lavender Convention seeks
healing and transformation by inviting the LGBT Community to a celebration
of its spiritual essence. It is a forum for LGBT affirming communities of faith
to come together for fellowship, learning, and worship. The Lavender
Convention is designed to touch the spiritual nature of LGBT individuals and
create a vision of a community and society that includes everyone who seeks a
spiritual pathway.

The Convention will run from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The keynote speech is by Father Geoffrey Farrow former priest of the Newman Center of Fresno who lost is position after is public opposition to Prop 8. It will also consist of an interfaith opening ceremony which honors diverse religious and spiritual traditions, a faith leader’s discussion panel, break-out sessions with informational and experiential workshops, lunch, and a closing ceremony.

The Lavender Convention’s home and registration page can be found at

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Win FREE Tickets!

Win FREE tickets to see the fantastic DIS/ORIENT/ED COMEDY SHOW at the Tower Theater on Saturday February 8th. Just visit You can enter by clicking the link on the upper right of your screen and entering your email address. We're giving away two sets of two tickets for FREE
(Gay Central Valley does not share your information)

Florida Faces Marriage Equality Lawsuit

Floridians have now joined the fight for marriage equality…


(Miami, FL, January 21, 2014)—Today, six same-sex couples and Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in Florida state court in Miami seeking the freedom to marry. The lawsuit argues that Florida’s laws barring same-sex couples from marriage violate the United States Constitution by denying them the legal protections and equal dignity that having the freedom to marry provides.

The couples are from Miami and the surrounding area. Four of the couples are raising children, and another couple has an adult child and two grandchildren. The couples are: Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier; Todd and Jeff Delmay; Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber; and Don Price Johnston and Jorge Isaias Diaz. They are represented by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, attorney Elizabeth F. Schwartz, attorney Mary B. Meeks, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).

Said Pareto: “Florida is our home, it is where we are raising our child, and where we want to get married. Karla and I wish for our family the same things that other families want. We want to build our lives together, provide a safe and caring home for our child, and share in the responsibilities and protections of marriage.”