Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Q & A With Chris Jarvis

Chris was instrumental in founding Gay Central Valley and both the Fresno and Merced LGBT Community Centers. He has been an activist, journalist and leader in the LGBT community in the Central Valley since 2005. He likes mushrooms, movies and debating...
How long have you lived in the Central Valley?

I was born in Fresno. I moved away a few times, to New York, New Jersey, Alaska, Nevada, but I came back to Fresno and settled down.

Married/Single/Relationship Status?

Legally married to James Hensley since 2008, but we’ve been a couple since 1996.

When did you come out as LGBT, or as a straight ally?

I first came out in my late teens to friends, then to just about everyone when I was 20. Coming out is an everyday event, it never stops.

Something you like about yourself?

My inability to put up with bullshit.

Something you dislike about yourself?

My inability to put up with bullshit.

Character trait in others that you most admire?

Honesty. Integrity. Selflessness. Critical Thinking. Humor.

Character trait in others that you most dislike?

Group mindedness. Self-importance. Pretentiousness.

What is your biggest regret?

Not going to college. I took a break from bullying. I never went back, and I wish I had.

What are you most passionate about?

Helping others. The LGBT community. Keeping my marriage strong and alive.

Favorite thing to do in your free time?


What aggravates you the most?

Participatory ignorance. Group mindset. Followers. Mythology.

What makes you the happiest?

Relationships. Thinkers. Oscillating sprinklers. Rain.

What are you, quite frankly, over?

Glorifying entertainers. Acronyms. Those long toed shoes. Bad lip synching. Kale.

What is your biggest challenge?

Learning which battles to fight and which ones to let go.

What was your favorite decade so far?

The 70’s. Music, revolution and freedom.

Who is your favorite person to talk to?

My husband and best friend, James.

Name a person you know personally who has had the biggest impact on you?

My second husband Michael taught me how to feel and cry after my first very long and negative relationship. My current husband James taught me how to love, what’s worth fighting for and what needs to be let go.

Name a person you don’t know who has had the biggest impact on you?

I'm motivated by people who tell the truth and think for themselves. Right now I'm very impressed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, to name a couple.

The most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

Never pretend to know something you don’t. Never pretend to be someone you aren't.

Besides a phone, what piece of technology can you not live without?

GPS has made my genetic, directional flaw manageable.

What superpower would you most like to have?

Invisibility. I’d expose hypocrisy. And sneak into a few locker rooms. What the heck.

Who would you like to play you in a movie about your life?

Chris Pine. Just for the consultations and the fittings.

What is the best part of your day?

When my husband and I end up together.

What is your proudest moment?

The NOH8 photo event in 2012. I worked for a year and a half on that and as far as I know it remains the most successful one day LGBT fundraiser in Fresno history. We raised over $20,000.

Who did you overlook in your past?

I overlooked those I thought were good people but turned out not to be. Now I can spot shallow people a mile away.

What have you overcome?

The need to pretend to be someone I’m not just so people like me.  

Where your ideal place to live?

I love California but I’d like to end up somewhere surrounded by nature. Maybe Washington or Oregon.

What words do you live by?

“The best mind altering drug is truth.”

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