Wednesday, September 30, 2015

VIDEO: Ellen Page Talks LGBT Progress on Colbert

Stonewall Democrats Meeting - New Location

Just to give everyone a heads up about our latest Stonewall venue change.

Special “thank you” to Barbara Pyle Rodgers for recommending it.

Next month, Tuesday, October 13th, Fresno Stonewall Democrats will be meeting at the Santa Fe Basque Restaurant located 3110 N. Maroa Ave., on the east side of the street across from the Legends night club.

As usual, the social (dinner) hour begins at 6 p.m. with the meeting call to order at 7 p.m. We have been struggling with attendance that last few months so PLEASE come out and support the club.

Santa Fe Basque is a locally owned non-chain restaurant and full service bar.

The owner has graciously offered to waive our attendance minimum if we make it our on-going meeting place. We will have a private room off to the right of the entryway.

Curious about the menu? http://www.santafebasque.com/menus.htm
They have a wide variety of menu choices from and prices start at a soup and house salad for $5.
There is plenty of parking behind the restaurant.
Just remember that at this point, Maroa is a one way street going north until Shields.

Our guest speaker will be Matt Armstrong of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) CCL is building support for a greenhouse gas emissions control policy called carbon fee and dividend (CF&D). It is a way of pricing carbon that return money to the citizens of the US and has tariff mechanisms to encourage overseas trading partners to enact similar policies. He would like Stonewall to endorse this proposal.

For more information on Stonewall contact the club president, Chuck Krugman at 559-266-9237 or ckrugman@sbcglobal.net

INTERVIEW: Sean Dorsey "Dance Your Story"



Sean Dorsey is an award-winning San Francisco-based choreographer, dancer and writer. Recognized as the U.S.’ first acclaimed transgender modern dance choreographer, Dorsey has won audiences and accolades from San Francisco to New York with his powerful dance-theater.

Sean is bringing his dance workshop "Dance Your Story", to Fresno for the second year. If you missed it last year you have another chance to participate in this FREE workshop which is for beginners and experienced alike. Last year's event was a success and those attending locally had amazing experiences. 

I asked Sean a few questions about himself and his passion, his dance workshops, and what you can expect if you attend here in Fresno...

Attend the FREE Fresno Workshop on Saturday, October 3rd at the California Arts Academy located at 4750 N Blackstone in Fresno.


Tell us a little about your background.
I am a transgender and queer choreographer, dancer and writer - and I live in San Francisco. One of my great loves is not just creating dances and performing with my company Sean Dorsey Dance -- but also TEACHING and facilitating joyful, all-levels workshops. As a transgender person, I never imagined there was a place for me in Dance -- and so I am super passionate about creating safe and FUN space for trans and queer and LGBTQ people to move, dance, write and self-express!

What is it about dance that you feel is so inspiring?
As human beings, movement and gesture and touch are at the core of who we are, and how we express ourselves. As transgender and queer people, movement and touch can also be at the core of our pain or self-consciousness or anxiety or depression. I am so inspired to work in these workshops to allow people to find movement and gesture and writing and dance that work for THEM and THEIR unique bodies. Dance is liberating. Dance is empowering.

Do people need any experience in dance to participate in your workshops?

Not at all! Terrified beginners are ESPECIALLY welcome! Most LGBT people are made to feel unsafe or unwelcome in dance studios, yoga studios, gyms, etc. So I want everyone to know that this is a safe space! All body sizes, all ages, no experience or lots of past experience.

What can people expect who come to your free workshop in Fresno?

We will start with some quiet space and reflection and affirmations, then will do several movement exercises, a physical warm-up, do some writing exercises, and allow each other space to create! People can sit down or sit aside at any point - it's all about being comfortable. And we'll have a all-genders bathroom and changing area!

Your workshops aren't just about dance. What do you hope people will come away with?

I want people to come away feeling good about their unique and wonderful selves. To feel pride in themselves. To feel proud of their LGBTQ body. To feel they have been able to have a voice and try some new things out.

What is one of the most moving experiences that has touched you during one of your workshops?

There have been SO many beautiful moments! I love seeing people of different ages talk together and move together. I've had people say they were able to begin a healing process over a recent death of someone close to them. I've had people say they felt proud of their body - despite years of feeling they were too "big" to dance, and despite years of never seeing a body like theirs in dance. I've had people share the most beautiful writing. There has been lots of laughter and also tears. It's a FUN day. Please come join us!

Friday, September 25, 2015

LGBT Job Opportunity


Another job listing provided by UCSC...

The Community Climates Project, a research study that aims to better understand how young LGBTQ people negotiate the challenges of growing up in diverse communities in California, is looking to hire a field research coordinator and a field research assistant in the Central Valley. These positions will be an integral part of the research team, working to coordinate and support research activities in Madera and Kings Counties.

The field research coordinator will serve as a community liaison, overseeing project coordination, participant recruitment, and data collection in the Central Valley. The position is 20 hours/week with a minimum-starting wage of $18.98/hour. The duration of the position is 10 months. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume online:
https://jobs.ucsc.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=68414

The field research assistant will work to support research activities in the Central Valley including participant recruitment, community outreach, and data collection. The position is 10 hours/week with a minimum-starting wage of $16.63/hour. The duration of the position is 10 months. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume online: https://jobs.ucsc.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=68398

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

EVENT: Your True Gender Conference 2015



Your True Gender Conference 2015

2015 has been a year of raised awareness of transgender issues. Caitlyn Jenner has sparked a national discussion about being transgender, and Barack Obama became the first President in U.S. history to condemn the persecution of “people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.” And in San Luis Obispo, California, on October 9-11th the Cal Poly Pride Center in cooperation with two non-profits, Your True Gender and Tranz Central Coast, will host the central coast’s first-ever conference designed to educate and guide not only transgender individuals on their own personal gender transition journey, but also their families, allies and professional providers.

Your True Gender Conference 2015 convenes some of the world’s foremost visionary pioneers and leaders in the Transgender community for a three-day conference on this topic of cultural significance. Conference presenters will include physical and mental health providers, attorneys and activists, such as:

· Jamison Green, PhD-President of World Professional Association of Transgender Health 

· Marci L. Bowers, MD-gender affirmation surgeon for both MTF’s and FTMs

· Lin Fraser, EdD, MFT-Bay Area Gender Associates and past President of WPATH

· Jillian T. Weiss, JD, PhD-Ramapo College Law professor and owner of Weiss Law 

· Ben Hudson-Gender Health Center-Sacramento

This conference will facilitate networking and provide inspiration and education. Physical and mental health providers and attorneys who want to learn about the diverse trans communities should plan to attend as well. Early registration is available through September 23, 2015, and will close on September 29th—so please register early!


For more information, please visit http://yourtruegender.org

EVENT: Merced LGBT Center Grand Re-Opening

EVENT: Dance Your Story with Sean Dorsey




“DANCE YOUR STORY!”
a FREE dance & self-expression workshop
for LGBT people & allies

Saturday OCTOBER 3 - FRESNO
3:30pm-6pm –  free!

California Arts Academy  (4750 N Blackstone Ave, Fresno CA 93726)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

EVENT: GCV Fundraiser at The Red Lantern





Sunday, October 4th @5PM at The Red Lantern

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE HERE


Community Fundraiser to help Gay Central Valley raise $3000.00 by the end of October to tear down a wall in the Fresno LGBT Community Center in the tower.

http://gaycentralvalley.org/

Doors open at 5:00pm with the Sunday BBQ provided by The Red Lantern

$5.00 donation at the door

Show will start at 6:00pm until all entertainers have performed. Tipping the entertainers are encouraged.

Variety of entertainment from around the valley. Come out and support your local community including:

Patricia de Leon (Emcee for the Evening)
Leilani Price
Brooklyn De Leon
Stevie Vanity O'Hara Santistevan
Alec Allnight ( Lynda Wilkinson )
Stephanie Solis ( Dion Espinoza )
Brandon Ltheadyhit Jackson
Venus De Carlo
Christopher Alexander Flores
Jerry McMahan
Papi De La Strapp
Priscilla McNamara

Donations can also be made at: https://www.youcaring.com/fresno-lgbt-community-center-401422#.Vf_UEwY_k-V.facebook

Sound system provided by Solid Gold Entertainment

Sunday, September 20, 2015

SUNDAY @Reel Pride



Here's what's happening on the final day of the Reel Pride Film Festival...

IN THE TURN
VOICE SHOP 1PM (FREE)
WITH SHORT

A documentary about a 10-year-old transgender girl who finds acceptance and empowerment in the company of a queer roller derby collective. www.intheturn.com

THOSE PEOPLE
VOICE SHOP 1PM
Director: Joey Kuhn; 2015; USA; 89 mins

On Manhattan’s gilded Upper East Side, a young painter, Charlie (Jonathan Gordon), finds the man of his dreams in an older pianist from across the globe, Tim (Haaz Sleiman). If only Charlie weren’t secretly in love with his own manipulative best friend, Sebastian (Jason Ralph), who is embroiled in a financial scandal. In the wake of Sebastian’s notoriety, their tight-knit group of friends must confront the new realities of adulthood.

THE GLAMOUR & THE SQUALOR
TOWER THEATER 3PM
Director: Marq Evans; 2015; USA; 80 mins

Marco Collins is one of the last great rock radio DJ's.

Not many outside of Seattle may know Marco’s story, but the role he played in the 1990’s is what made Seattle synonymous with grunge music. He championed little known bands, often being the one to break them into the mainstream. The bands that Marco broke went on to international stardom, which helped establish him as one of music's most influential tastemakers.

He was instrumental in bringing electronic music to the masses in the U.S. and is still plucking bands from obscurity and giving them a platform. So although Marco’s story is about MUSIC, it’s really about the passionate, relentless and uncompromised support of artists. Marco has never been content to let talent fly under the radar. Where would any artist be without those that championed them?

Marco’s story is complicated and interesting. He has endured a decade long battle of being handcuffed by addiction and he went from a closeted gay man to become one of the leaders of Music for Marriage Equality. When Washington State passed Referendum 74 legalizing same-sex marriage Marco was once again in the center of a cultural revolution.

Marco presented the music that shaped not only our childhoods, but that of an entire generation of people.

TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL
VOICE SHOP 3PM
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz; 2015; USA; 90 mins

In the 1950s, Tab Hunter is number one at the box office and number one on the music charts. He is Hollywood’s most sought-after star and America’s boy next door. Natalie Wood, Debbie Reynolds and Sophia Loren are just a few of the actresses he is romantically linked to. Nothing, it seems, can damage Tab Hunter’s career. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that Tab Hunter is secretly gay.

Now, Tab Hunter’s secret is out. In "Tab Hunter Confidential" we will meet, for the first time, the real Tab Hunter as he shares with us the whole story of a happy, healthy survivor of Hollywood’s roller coaster.

DO I SOUND GAY?
TOWER THEATER 5PM
Starring: Margaret Cho, Tim Gunn, George Takei, & Dan Savage

After a break-up with his boyfriend, journalist David Thorpe embarks on a hilarious and touching journey of self-discovery, confronting his anxiety about "sounding gay." Enlisting acting coaches, linguists, friends, family, total strangers, and celebrities, he quickly learns that many people — both gay and straight — often wish for a different voice. In Thorpe's feature-length documentary debut DO I SOUND GAY?, what starts as a personal journey becomes a chance to unpack layers of cultural baggage concerning sexuality, identity, and self-esteem.

THAT'S NOT US
VOICE SHOP 5PM
Director: William Sullivan; 2015; USA; 98 mins

"That’s Not Us" is an intimate portrait of three twenty-something couples as they travel to a beach house to enjoy the last days of summer. But what should be a fun and carefree weekend becomes an exploration of what it takes to sustain a healthy relationship and make love last in what is now being called the “gayest generation.”

Through each of the three couples - one gay, one lesbian, and one straight - That’s Not Us explores sex and relationships with a fresh perspective, finding that while sexuality and gender may vary, the struggles to keep love alive do not.

Filmed in just eight days with a skeleton cast and crew, "That’s Not Us" captures both the humor and drama in relationships. Despite having a story outline, the entire film was shot without a script, using dialogue improvised by a talented group of actors after months of rehearsals.

TANGERINE
TOWER THEATER 7:30PM
Director: Sean Baker; 2015; USA; 87 mins.

It's Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend (James Ransone, "Starlet", "Generation Kill") hasn't been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the sex worker and her best friend, Alexandra (newcomer Mya Taylor), embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity.

Director Sean Baker’s prior films ("Starlet", "Prince of Broadway") brought rich texture and intimate detail to worlds seldom seen on film. "Tangerine" follows suit, bursting off the screen with energy and style. A decidedly modern Christmas tale told on the streets of L.A., "Tangerine" defies expectation at every turn.

CLOSING NIGHT PARTY
@THE PAINTED TABLE

Saturday, September 19, 2015

SATURDAY @Reel Pride


What's happening on Saturday at the Reel Pride Film Festival...
TRANSCENDENT - TRANS SHORTS
TOWER THEATER 11:30AM

MINDTEASE
Director: Iris Moore; 2013; Canada; 4 mins.
[Contains animated nudity.]
The accidental reveal of a burlesque dancer’s “true” identity leads to a moment of self-questioning for the audience, and for one voyeur in particular, some deeper self-exploration.

MINI SUPREME
Director: Michael Phillis; 2015; USA; 10 mins.
When Jeremie’s childish behavior gets him fired from his stuffy corporate job, he hatches a plan to enter a children’s beauty pageant by transforming himself into “Jennie Jo,” a seven-year-old pageant princess with a (fictional) growth disorder.

I BELIEVE IN ME
Director: Leslie Von Pless; 2015; USA; 7 mins.
On the day of her release from state custody, Donisha McShan tells her story of finding her voice and standing up for her right to be treated as a woman.

BOY
Director: Lucas Helgh Postma; 2014; Denmark; 16 mins.
In Dutch with English subtitles
16-year-old Emilie has never felt like a real girl. Emilie just wants to be a boy, but it’s difficult for Emilie to be accepted. The film is a social realistic teen drama about a transsexual girl/boy, and the problems she is facing.

DRAG MAMA
Director: Benjamin Strum; 2015; USA; 7 mins.
Drag Mama is a fantasy film about a young boy who wants to wear a dress to school but isn't allowed, so his Very Drag Mother turns him into a queen until midnight.

UNDER THE LAST ROOF (Bajo El Último Techo)
Director: Edgar A. Romero; 2013; Mexico; 12 mins.
A lonely young boy, living in a cramped apartment with his grandparents, strikes up an unlikely friendship with a neighbor who inspires him to see a bigger world.

THE PEARL OF AFRICA (Pictured)
Director: Jonny von Wallström; 2015; Africa; 30 mins.
THE PEARL OF AFRICA captures an intimate struggle for the right to love. Following a Ugandan transgender girl, forced to leave her country, it’s an emotional journey of love, hate and being transgender, in one of the world's most transphobic places.

YOUTH & STUDENT PIZZA & FRO YO PARTY
CINDY'S FROZEN YOGURT AND DESSERTS

#REELPRIDE26: Youth/Student Pizza and Fro-Yo Party
Sponsored by Richie’s Pizza & Dogs + Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt & Desserts

Sat. Sept. 19th
12:00 PM
Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt & Desserts

• FREE ADMISSION to all Fresno State, Fresno City, Willow International and high school students with valid student ID card.
• ATTEND #REELPRIDE26: Discoveries – Youth/Student Shorts” at The Voice Shop immediately following this event.
• ONLINE: www.reelpride.com

Please note: This is a FRESNO REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL EVENT; not a USP event. Details are provided here for informational purposes only.

DISCOVERIES - YOUTH SHORTS
VOICE SHOP 1PM

#REELPRIDE26: Discoveries – Youth/Student Shorts – “Charlotte,” “Out Again,” “Stealth” and “The Year We Thought About Love.”

Sponsored by the Bulldog Pride Fund • www.bulldogpride.org
Sat. Sept. 19th
1:00 PM
The Voice Shop

• FREE ADMISSION to all Fresno State, Fresno City, Willow International and high school students with valid student ID card.
• ATTEND #REELPRIDE26: Youth/Student Pizza and Fro-Yo Party at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt & Desserts one-hour before this screening. Again, FREE ADMISSION.
• ONLINE: www.reelpride.com

Please note: This is a FRESNO REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL EVENT; not a USP event. Details are provided here for informational purposes only.

FUN IN GIRLS SHORTS
TOWER THEATER 1:30PM

"Fun in Girls Shorts" Shorts Program showcases an assortment of short films from around the world.

"11 Life Lessons from an Old Dyke" - Through the lens of 11 life lessons, tough-as-nails Dorothy gives an abridged account of LGBT history, teaches the importance of standing your ground, and offers up a perspective only possible with a PH.D from the “School of LIfe”.

"The First Session" - Two women attempt to repair their relationship with the help of an unconventional therapist and the healing power of the mango.

"First Crush" - Directed by #ReelPride26's own Haley White, "First Crush" highlights a group of friends discussing their crushes at a 1989 slumber party.

"Maddy" - A year after her wife’s death, Skylar decides to carry their child using one of her wife’s fertilized embryos and begin the family they've always dreamed of.

"Clown Service" - Tig is heartbroken and desperate for a brighter mood. In bursts Giggles the Clown through the front door and the two find they have more in common than they imagined.

"Sugarhiccup" - A neurotic journalist searches through digital clues trying to decipher a mysterious message left by her fiancé right before she disappears for the next 48 sleepless hours.

"The Letter (La Carta)" - Lupe and Rosalía, two indigenous Mexican women fall in love during their childhood. Now, as adults, they will have to face their own feelings.

"Code Academy" - In the future, the gender disparity gap was addressed with a radical idea: to keep boys and girls separate until the age of eighteen.

FUN IN BOYS SHORTS
TOWER THEATER 3:30PM

"Fun in Boys Shorts" Shorts Program showcases an assortment of short films from around the world.

"One Year Lease" - Told almost entirely through voice mail messages, "One Year Lease" documents the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita the cat-loving landlady.

"Carpe Jugular" - The dance floor is a battlefield.

"Bedding Andrew" - On the eve of his 30th birthday, Andrew Morrison-Gurza reflected on his life as an LGBTQ man with Cerebral Palsy, and the event that helped shape his identity as a gay man.

"Gold Star" - Two basketball players confront their strained relationship in a game of one-on-one.

"Relación Abierta (Open Relationship)" -Oscar and Sergio have been in a relationship for five years. A random afternoon of a random day, one decides to ask the other if he would be interested in starting an open relationship.

"El Canto del Colibri" - Much like the seldom-heard song of the hummingbird, the voices of Latino fathers are rarely heard in addressing LGBTQ issues

THE SUMMER OF SANGAILE
VOICE SHOP 3:30PM
Director: Alanté Kavaïté; 2015; Lithuania, France, Netherlands; 84 mins
In Lithuanian with English subtitles

17 year-old Sangaïlé, is fascinated by stunt planes. Afraid of heights, she has never dared to even enter in one of the cockpits. At a summer aeronautical show, nearby her parent's lakeside villa, she meets Austé, a local girl of her age, who unlike Sangaïlé, lives her life to the full with creativity and dare. As the two girls become lovers, Sangaïlé allows Austé to discover her most intimate secret, and finds in her teenage love the only person to truly encourage her in flying.

DEEP RUN
VOICE SHOP 5:30PM

RAVENS TOUCH
TOWER THEATER 5:30PM

DROWN
VOICE SHOP 7:30PM
Director: Dean Francis; 2014; Australia; 93 mins

Len is a Surf Lifesaving champion, a legend in the cloistered surf club just like his father. But when the younger, faster, fitter Phil arrives at the club, Len’s legendary status starts to crumble. Then Len sees Phil arriving in the company of another man; a man Phil gives a farewell kiss too. Phil is gay.

Over the summer season, Len starts to form unexpected, confusing feelings for Phil. It’s something Len cannot accept and after the annual awards dinner, Len explodes. He finds Phil in the Club House locker room and violently attacks him.

But to Len’s surprise, Phil remains loyal to the mateship pack and refuses to rat on Len about the beating in the Club House locker Room. Len stays in the Club and is free to compete in the annual Surf Lifesaving completion; a competition Len has won five times but Phil wins and Len’s defeat is final.

Broken, Len refuses to die and with his best mate Meat he takes Phil on a victory bender through the seedy city in an attempt to secure an intoxicated oblivion.

Arriving back at the beach where Phil won his victory the day before, Len sets upon Phil. And in a series of humiliating acts, Len finally comes face to face with a fundamental question, can he accept the truth about his sexuality and identity or will he succumb to complete oblivion.

S&M SALLY
TOWER THEATER 7:30PM
Director: Michelle Ehlen; 2015; USA; 80 mins

When Jamie finds out her girlfriend Jill has spent time exploring BDSM, her insecurities about falling behind in the bedroom push her to propose that they start going to underground clubs. Jamie decides to use the pseudonym Sally so she can stay anonymous but still look like she's using her real name, which apparently she thinks makes her look cool. Identifying as the butch one in a traditional butch/femme couple, "Sally" assumes she will take the dominant role in their escapades, with Jill as her submissive, but Jill has ideas of her own.

Meanwhile, their friends Lola and David start dating the polyamorous bisexual Sebastian, who proposes to have a threesome. They quickly agree without planning to follow through, expecting the other one to back out first so they can save face with their new boyfriend. A provocative and hilarious ride, S&M Sally details the unexpected journey that happens when your insecurities push you outside of your comfort zone, leading you down a path for which there is no going back.

GUIDANCE
VOICE SHOP 9:30PM
Director: Pat Mills; 2015; Canada 80 mins

David Gold, 36, a pathologically immature former child actor, has never been able to get over high school. Recently diagnosed with skin cancer, unemployed and with nothing left to lose, he fakes his resume and gets a job as a high school guidance counselor. Quickly winning over the students at Grusin High with his laidback attitude and similar interests, he befriends Jabrielle, a teenaged outcast and soon learns that sometimes you can go too far, especially when it comes to committing a ridiculous crime.

SEED MONEY
TOWER THEATER 9:30PM
Director: Michael Stabile; 2015; USA; 72 mins

With Falcon Studios, gay porn mogul Chuck Holmes built an empire on flesh and fantasy — the gay Hugh Hefner. From 1972 to 2000, Chuck fought the FBI, vice squads and an epidemic to document the emerging gay culture, and provide gay men across the country with a vision of life that was unashamed and celebratory.

Chuck’s business brings him fortune beyond imagining, and powerful friends, but when he attempts to channel his millions into a gay rights movement of the 90s, he finds that his money is sometimes more welcome than he is. "Seed Money" is the story of Chuck Holmes, one of the gay rights movement’s most unlikely pioneers.

Friday, September 18, 2015

FRIDAY @Reel Pride



It's the third day of the Reel Pride Film Festival...
Here's what's happening on Friday...

LIZ IN SEPTEMBER
VOICE SHOP 5:30PM
Director: Fina Torres; 2015; Venezuela; 92 mins
In Spanish with English subtitles

Liz has known several things since she was a child: that she is gay, that beauty is power, and that she would never be a victim. Determined to enjoy the time she still has left on earth, she hides her terminal disease from her friends.

Eva lost her son to cancer. The pain and guilt she feels has tarnished the relationship with her husband, sinking both into isolation. Heading alone on her vacation, Eva’s car breaks down leaving her stranded on the road. She ends up at Margot’s Inn where she meets Liz and her group of all gay friends. Liz makes a bet that she can seduce the straight newcomer. Against all odds, the encounter between these two opposite women changes their lives, setting new perspectives where love, life, and death, away from any morals, play as simple steps of nature.

DESERT MIGRATION
TOWER THEATER 5:30PM
Director: Daniel F. Cardone; 2015; USA; 80 mins

Saved by the introduction of protease inhibitors in the mid 1990s, many HIV positive men needed to rebuild the lives they thought they’d never be able to live. In an effort to reach equilibrium with the virus inside them, some migrated to Southern California's Palm Springs in the hope of finding a healing desert oasis. But is this environment, with its tolerant population and constant sunshine, enough to eradicate the grief they carry within them, and strengthen them against the medications slowly poisoning their bodies?

Desert Migration focuses on gay men living long-term with HIV who sought out an oasis in Southern California's Palm Springs where both their homosexuality and health condition is not just tolerated, but understood. They represent a huge number of people who migrated to this desert community burdened with memories of watching their friends die, all believing that a similar fate would befall them.

OUT IN THE NIGHT
VOICE SHOP 7:30PM
Director: Blair Dorosh-Walther; 2014; USA; 75 mins

"Out in the Night" is a documentary that tells the story of a group of young friends, African American lesbians who are out, one hot August night in 2006, in the gay friendly neighborhood of New York City. They are all in their late teens and early twenties and come from a low-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. Two of the women are the focus – gender non-conforming Renata Hill, a single mother with a soft heart and keen sense of humor, and petite femme Patreese Johnson, a shy and tender poet. As they and their friends walk under the hot neon lights of tattoo parlors in the West Village, an older man sexually and violently confronts them. He says to Patreese “let me get some of that” as he points below her waist. When she says that they are gay, the man becomes violent and threatens to “fuck them straight”. He spits and throws a lit cigarette. Renata and Venice defend the group and a fight begins, captured by security cameras nearby. The man yanks out hair from Venice’s head and chokes Renata. Then, Patreese pulls a knife from her purse and swings at him. Strangers jump in to defend the women and the fight escalates. As the fight comes to an end, all get up and walk away. But 911 has been called and the man involved has been stabbed. Police swarm to the scene as their radios blast out warning of a gang attack. The women are rounded up and charged with gang assault, assault and attempted murder. Three of the women plead guilty. But Renata, Patreese, Venice and friend Terrain claim their innocence. They are called a “Gang of Killer Lesbians” by the media. In activist circles they become known as The New Jersey 4.

FOURTH MAN OUT
TOWER THEATER 7:30PM

On his 24th birthday, Adam, a small-town mechanic, decides it’s time to finally tell his friends and family that he’s gay. Will his straight-as-an-arrow best bros have his back? "Fourth Man Out" is a lighthearted and unexpectedly subversive comedy about coming out of the blue-collar closet featuring a handsome ensemble including Glee’s Chord Overstreet, Parker Young (ABC’s Suburgatory) and Evan Todd.

LONELY STARS
VOICE SHOP 9:30PM

PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL MONOGAMIST
VOICE SHOP 9:30PM
Directors: Christina Zeidler & John Mitchell; 2014; Canada; 84 mins

Smart, successful, and charming, Elsie is the perfect girlfriend; she also happens to be a serial monogamist, with a long history of broken hearts. When Elsie breaks up with her long-standing girlfriend to pursue another woman, she faces her mother’s disapproval, conflicting advice from friends, and the nagging suspicion that she may have made a big mistake.

Set in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Portrait of a Serial Monogamist invites audiences to peek behind the curtain to a world of smart, funny and relatable queer characters, dealing with the universal complications of modern relationships.

Not another coming out story, this is a fresh coming-of-middle-age rom-com.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Movies of The Reel Pride Board Members


In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...
The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th.

Click HERE for all the details...

Board Member - Peter Robertson


Peter Robertson is the Co-Founder of the Reel Pride Film Festival, currently runs the Reel Pride Endowment and has been a part of Reel Pride on and off for the past 26 years.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?
Mystery, espionage and whodunit?

WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?
At home, “The Sound of Music.” In a movie theatre, “Peter Pan.”

WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?
“For Your Eyes Only” (1981) – the 12th James Bond flick, this one starring Roger Moore with the title song by Sheena Easton. Some 35 years later, and I’m still a huge James Bond fan.

WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?
I don’t often watch movies at home. But, when I do, it’s still mystery, espionage and whodunit?

WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?
Again, mystery, espionage and whodunit?

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?
The variety of films being offered. Some domestic, some international. They run the gamut of LGBTQ+. Besides the actual movies and shorts, themselves, I absolutely love the way Fresno Reel Pride brings our diverse community and its allies together to celebrate Queer Cinema.

It helps us – as a community – remember where we’ve come from, respect where we are now, and provide us hope for a better tomorrow.

“We’re here. We’re Queer. And, we’re having a film festival!”

VISALIA EVENT: The Transgender Journey

Thank you to Carol Montgomery Brosnac for letting us know about this South Valley event!
.

VIDEO: LGBT Issues in Last Night's Debate

THURSDAY @Reel Pride


Today is the second day of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival...
Here's what's happening on Thursday September 17th...

A GAY GIRL IN DAMASCUS
VOICE SHOP 5:30PM
Director: Sophie Deraspe; 2014; Canada 84 minutes
In English, French, and Arabic with English subtitles.

When well-known Syrian blogger Amina Arraf – purportedly kidnapped by local authorities during the Arab Spring – was revealed to be an elaborate hoax persona, an entire international community realized it had been catfished. Told from the perspective of Sandra Bagaria, a Canadian activist who had been in an online relationship with Amina, "A Gay Girl In Damascus: The Amina Profile" is an astounding tale of global deceit and betrayal.

THE NEW GIRLFRIEND
TOWER THEATER 5:30PM
Director: François Ozon; 2014; France; 107 mins
In French with English subtitles

After the death of her best friend, Claire falls into a deep depression, but a surprising discovery about her friend’s husband gives her a new taste for life.

ALL ABOUT E
VOICE SHOP 7:30PM
Director: Louise Wadley; 2014; Australia; 93 mins

Beautiful, sexy E seems to have it all. A popular DJ at the top Sydney gay nightclubs, E has her pick of the girls. Matt, her flamboyant manager and best friend, makes her stunning outfits and creates a stylish home for them both. Life is sweet.

But looks can be deceiving – E is living a double life. Too scared to come out to her traditional migrant parents, E married Matt, a gay Irish dress designer, to give him a visa and provide cover for her sexuality. It didn’t work. Her mother is heartbroken: E shamed the family by not inviting them to her wedding. Even worse, she dropped out of a prestigious music college for life in the clubs.

One day E and Matt stumble across a suitcase of cash and fantasize about opening their own club. Too late they realize the money belongs to dangerous sociopath Johnny Rock, a powerful underworld figure and owner of the club where e spins her grooves.

E and Matt go on the run pursued by Johnny and his thugs. To avoid certain death there is only one safe place to go: outback Australia and into the arms of e’s ex, Trish. But E is scared. Trish turned her back on E, the drugs, and the city life. Down to earth and straightforward, Trish left because of E’s inability to be to true to herself or tell her parents the truth about their relationship. Devastated, E vowed to never let another woman into her heart.

In order to stay alive, E has to learn to face up to her past. She has to give her family the chance to accept who she really is and find the courage to live her dreams.

IN THE GRAYSCALE
TOWER THEATER 7:30PM
Director: Claudio Marcone; 2015; Chile; 101 mins
In Spanish with English subtitles

Pain, changes and reconstruction of being during an overwhelming present.

Bruno is an architect who has the perfect life - he is married, he has a son, a nice house, a nice car, and an architectural firm, not famous for its best designs but it pays the bills. Bruno has a deep sense of unease. He decides to leave his wife to be alone and have time to find himself. A businessman offers him to build an iconic landmark in the city of Santiago. Motivated by this professional challenge, Bruno feels he can find a twist in his life by a vocational route. He starts working with a young history teacher named Fer who is agile, energetic, captivating and gay. It is the beginning of an unexpected, intense and passionate romance, leaving Bruno full of contradictions. At this point he must make decisions for his future. The biggest learning experience being that innocence and simplicity are perhaps the best way to get up again.

NASTY BABY
VOICE SHOP 9:30PM
Director: Sebastián Silva; 2015; USA; 100 mins

An award-winning festival favorite by Sebastian Silva ("The Maid"), "Nasty Baby" centers on Freddy (Silva), a Brooklyn-based artist who, with his boyfriend, Mo (Tunde Adebimpe), and their best friend, Polly (Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig), is trying to have a baby. As this trio deals with the complications of conception and creating the "new normal" family, their bliss is clouded by a series of confrontations with an annoying neighbor who just might be a madman.

OUT TO WIN
TOWER THEATER 9:30PM
Director: Malcolm Ingram; 2015; USA, Canada; 99 mins

OUT TO WIN is a documentary film from award-winning Sundance alumni Malcolm Ingram that serves as an overview and examination of lives and careers of aspiring and professional gay and lesbian athletes from all over the world. Chronicling the present, framed within a historical context of those that came before, this film highlights the experiences of athletes who have fought and struggled, both in and out of the closet, to represent the LGBT community and their true selves. This film is told through the voices of pioneers, present day heroes, tomorrow's superstars and the people who've helped them get to where they are including agents, managers, fans, teammates, coaches, organizations and members of the media.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Movies of The Reel Pride Board Members

In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...

The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th.

Click HERE for all the details...


Board Member – Christopher Dodd



Christopher Dodd is the membership and festival pass director for Reel Pride. He’s been on the board for 3 years and was a volunteer before that for 3 additional years.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?
I love a good comedy or drama.


WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?
The first movie I remember seeing as a kid was Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the Original one)


WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?
My mom would always make us watch the Sound of Music. Anytime it had come on TV, we always watched. To this day I still do and remember my childhood.


WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?
I am such a big kid it is Bedknobs and Broomsticks


WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?
I really don’t recommend movies as there are too many to choose from.


WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?
Every year I look forward to talking to the filmmakers and stars. I love to hear their unique stories as to what inspired them to produce their movies and their personal history. To me, it adds to the experience and adds a deeper level to the movie experience.

Volunteer At Reel Pride 26


 
You can volunteer for either Gay Central Valley or The Fresno Fresbians. Both groups are managing volunteers for this year's Reel Pride Film Festival, which starts TODAY.

Click HERE for the links for volunteering. 

We look forward to seeing everyone at this year's film festival!

WEDNESDAY Reel Pride Opens With "Addicted To Fresno"


September 16-20, 2015
Film times & prices vary
Fresno, Tower Theatre (Olive & Wishon Avenues)
(559) 999-7971
www.reelpride.com
With more than 10,000 tickets sold last year, Reel Pride is the sixth oldest gay and lesbian film festival in America.

Presented in the historic art deco Tower Theatre and the intimate Starline Lounge in Fresno’s historic Tower District, Reel Pride Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has matured into one of Central California’s largest cultural events. Each year with five days and nearly fifty films, the Reel Pride Film Festival premieres movies that can't be found in the local multiplex and features appearances by filmmakers and stars, signature events, receptions and parties.

It’s Central California’s most popular gay and lesbian event: Five days of films for everyone to enjoy. Since its inception in a classroom at Fresno State in 1990, Fresno Reel Pride is the sixth oldest – and has grown to become one of the largest – gay and lesbian film festivals in the US. Reel Pride is a celebration of gay and lesbian cinema and is a premiere cultural event in central California attracting thousands of attendees to its five-day festival of international features, documentaries and short films.

On behalf of the board of Directors, volunteers and sponsors, thank you for making Fresno Reel Pride Gay & Lesbian Film Festival so successful! Thanks so much for your consideration and continued support for Fresno Reel Pride!


OPENING NIGHT PRE-PARTY 
6PM @Bobby Salazar's On Olive Avenue



Tonight's Opening Film - "ADDICTED TO FRESNO"


Director: Jamie Babbit; 2015; USA; 85 minutes

Director Jamie Babbit ("But I’m a Cheerleader") brings her latest dark comedy to the “best little city in the USA.”

"Addicted to Fresno" is a dark comedy about two co-dependent sisters who work as hotel maids in Fresno, CA. Shannon (Arrested Development’s Judy Greer) is fresh out of sex rehab when her younger, overly optimistic lesbian sister Martha (Orange is the New Black’s Natasha Lyonne) lands her a job as a maid at Fresno Suites, the local hotel. When Shannon jeopardizes her fresh start by accidentally killing a hotel guest after a post-rehab relapse, Martha goes to great lengths to help her sister cover up the crime. Shannon finally learns to take responsibility for her actions, and the sisters begin to resolve their tortured relationship.

"Addicted to Fresno" includes an ensemble cast from Saturday Night Live veterans like Fred Armisen and Molly Shannon.





OPENING NIGHT GALA @THE PAINTED TABLE FOLLOWING THE FILM

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Movies of the Reel Pride Board Members

In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...

The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th.

Click HERE for all the details...


Board Member - Kathleen Arambula-Reyna



Kathleen Arambula-Reyna is the current President of Fresno Reel Pride. She has been involved behind the scenes for 4 years and held a festival membership for over 15 years.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?
Psychological Thrillers

WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?
Song of the South

WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?
The Wizard of Oz

WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?
Documentaries and ‘who-done its” are the typical go to.

WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?
To Kill a Mockingbird starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, a great film with a strong message.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?
At the beginning of 2015, the FRP Board of Directors were very clear in their vision to bring movies that represented all members of our LGBTQ+ community. Specifically we hoped to find films that brought insight and conversation around our transgender community. We were blessed to have found some great films to choose from. With recent events throughout our nation and in our local community, we felt something more should be done to help continue a conversation of understanding, which is why I am looking forward to our FREE COMMUNITY showing of ‘IN THE TURN’ on Sunday, September 20th at 1pm showing at The Voice Shop.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Movies of the Reel Pride Board Members

In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...

The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th.

Click HERE for all the details... 


Board Member - Brian Carnes



Brian Carnes has been the treasurer for the Reel Pride Film Festival for two years, and has attended the festival for many years. 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?
Musicals! Who doesn’t look like a good sing-along?

WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?
“Raiders of the Lost Ark”

WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?
“E.T.” I still watch that movie every time it comes on.

WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?
Comedies and action flicks.

WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?
“Connie and Carla” It’s a quotable sing-along and one of my favorites.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?
“Tangerine” It looks like it’s going to have some great one-liners that we won’t be forgetting any time soon!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

VIDEO: Bill Maher on Kim Davis Controversy

HIV Documentary at Reel Pride 26


Desert Migration, a documentary focused on men who lived through the height of the AIDS crisis and survived, will be screening at the 
Reel Pride Film Festival on 
Friday, September 18th at 5:30pm at the Tower Theater. 

Local group Positive Life is sponsoring the film. There will be a Q&A following the film with Director Daniel F Cardone and a participant from the film, Keith Epley. 

Watch the trailer below...

The Movies of the Reel Pride Board Members

In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...

The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th. 

Click HERE for all the details...

Board Member - Haley White



Haley is the Programmer for this year's Reel Pride Film Festival. It is her first year with the festival... 

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?

My favorite film genre is anything but horror films.

WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?

I remember watching (the original Hayley Mills) Parent Trap on repeat and driving my parents absolutely crazy. They would take me and my sister to the movie store and try anything to get us to pick something. "This one also has Hayley Mills!" "This one also involves a trap of some sort!" But it was the only movie I would ever let them pick. I still have entire sections of it memorized and quote it in my everyday life.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?

No joke, I've seen (the original Hayley Mills) Parent Trap two billion four hundred seventy six thousand and two times. I've seen the Lindsay Lohan version 0.5 times.

WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?

These days, I'm more into binge-watching online television shows than watching movies: Orange is the New Black. Transparent. Kimmy Schmidt. House of Cards. Arrested Development. Anything where I can get the episodes all at once.

WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?

I feel like it would be a real missed opportunity if I didn't say (the original Hayley Mills) Parent Trap here.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?

I'm looking forward to seeing (and hearing) a Fresno audience watch Addicted to Fresno. I'm looking forward to getting audience feedback about the programming this year. Looking forward to meeting more great people in the LGBTQ community here in the Valley. Really looking forward to taking a nap on Monday the 21st.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Movies of the Reel Pride Board Members

In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...

The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th. 

Click HERE for all the details...

Board Member - Tiana Perez



This is Tiana's second year on the board of directors but she has been organizing a large amount of volunteers for Reel Pride since 2010.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?

I’m a hopeless romantic with a goofy side, so I tend to gravitate to Romantic Comedies. Some of my all-time favorite movies include “Elena Undone” and “Imagine You and Me.”

WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?

The first film I remember being obsessed with as a child was “The Little Mermaid.” Somewhere out there (thank goodness it was before social media) is a VHS of me singing along to the entire soundtrack. I was convinced I was not only a superstar singer, but I was also a red-headed mermaid. Turns out I’m neither one of those. I think I’m actually more like Skuttle, the tone deaf comic relief.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?

Besides my childhood obsession with “The Little Mermaid,” my other movie on constant repeat was “Now and Then.” I think this was one of the first empowered female films I ever saw. It’s about a group of 4 girls who make a promise to always be friends and it’s the story of their childhood friendship and all the shenanigans they have together. That was the theme movie to my childhood friendships. We all had a character we related to and we’d play it at every slumber party while reciting every line to the film. I used to claim the part of Roberta (played by Christina Ricci) who grows up to be Rosie O’Donnell. Kind of creepy how fitting that turned out to be.

WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?

My guilty pleasures that I will watch whenever they play on tv (which always surprises me how frequently they are aired) are “House Bunny” and “Sharknado”. House Bunny is really a horrible movie but I’m a sucker for all those clever one-liners. Also, I’m pretty sure that movie is the reason why I have a celebrity crush on Emma Stone and Anna Farris. Those women are HILARIOUS! Sharknado, again, is another horrible movie, but it’s one of those movies that you can’t help but watch to see just how cheesy and horrible it can possibly get. Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any cheesier, it does. Just thinking of that epic ending scene makes me giggle.

WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?

“Imagine You and Me.” I have a soft spot for that film. Thinking back, I think that was the very first lesbian film I ever saw. One of my friends in college had rented it for me after I came out and was going through a heart break. I think it’s one of those encouraging hopeful movies that you watch and think, “I hope I find that someday.” After seeing it so many times, it makes it really hard for me NOT to want to yell, “YOU’RE A WANKER NUMBER NINE!!!” at any large public gathering. I apologize in advance if you are ever there to witness me inappropriately yelling, but if you are part of the crowd that turns around gives me a thumbs up and smiles because you know exactly what I’m talking about, you are the kind of person I want as my new best friend.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?

I’m definitely looking forward to “S&M Sally” because you really can’t go wrong with Michelle Ehlen and her wonderful cast. Plus, she will be joining us for the festival and she’s just as awesome in real life as she is on screen. I think the best way to have a good day is to spend at least part of it laughing, and when you have films like S&M Sally, you know it’s going to be a good day. I guarantee you will laugh just watching the trailer.

I’m also super excited about “Raven’s Touch” because I’m a big Traci Dinwiddie Fan ever since “Elena Undone” and when you partner her up with Dreya Weber (“The Gymnast”) in a film by Marina Rice Bader, how can you not create something amazing?

I’m also very excited for “In the Turn,” a documentary about a trans girl who finds acceptance and empowerment from a queer roller derby team. I think it will be an amazing documentary showing the power of love, acceptance, and friendship. I also think it’s wonderful that Reel Pride will be offering this screening FREE to anyone who wants to attend because I think the message is very powerful.

Honestly, the entire line up of films we have this year is amazing and it’s really hard to only pick a few to be excited about. I’m excited for all the films, the atmosphere, being surrounded by the wonderful people who attend, and working side by side with all those amazing people who give up their time to volunteer. The part I’m dreading the most is trying to decide between a film playing at The Voice Shop and a film playing at Tower Theater because either choice I make, there will still be one amazing film I’ll have to miss.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Movies of the Reel Pride Board Members

In this series of interviews, Gay Central Valley highlights the Board of Directors of the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival and the movies that move them...

The 26th Reel Pride Film Festival starts on Wednesday, September 16th and runs through Sunday, September 20th. 

Click HERE for all the details...

Board Member - Augie Blancas


Augie Blancas is the current Communications Director for Fresno Reel Pride. He's been volunteering for Fresno Reel Pride for several years. 


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FILM GENRE?

I love all films ranging from comedy, drama, a good 80's flick, to anything Marvel.


WHAT IS THE FIRST FILM YOU REMEMBER SEEING AS A CHILD?

THE PROFESSIONAL starring a young Natalie Portman who lives with a hit man. My dad would sneak me out of school and take me to movies, but they usually weren’t kid friendly.


WHAT WAS THE FIRST FILM YOU SAW MORE THAN ONCE?

When I was a kid, I would watch LADY AND THE TRAMP over and over again. I think I went through two tapes because I watched it that much.


WHAT MOVIES DO YOU WATCH WHEN YOU’RE NESTING AT HOME?

THE BREAKFAST CLUB, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, or any X-MEN movie.


WHAT FILM DO YOU MOST OFTEN RECOMMEND TO FRIENDS?

I’m still recommending a film from last year’s film festival called THE WAY HE LOOKS. It was a short prior to becoming a full-length feature film and it was just amazing. It goes to show the types of films we bring to the festival.


WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THIS YEAR’S REEL PRIDE FILM FESTIVAL?

We have a great line-up of men’s films like IN THE GRAYSCALE and FOURTH MAN OUT as well as our free community screening of IN THE TURN.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

EVENT: Rainbow Alumni & Allies Club Inaugural Mixer


The new RAINBOW ALUMNI AND ALLIES CLUB at Fresno State is planning an INAUGURAL MIXER on Monday, September 28th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Smittcamp Alumni House, with a short program beginning at 6:30 pm. 

Admission is free, with appetizers provided and no-host beverages available. Parking permits are required at $3 per vehicle. 

• RSVP online @ http://bit.ly/RainbowClub
• Fresno State Alumni Association online @ www.fresnostatealumni.com

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

THURSDAY! EQCA Town Hall @The Painted Table


New Transgender Support Group at the LGBT Community Center



Responding to an increasing need for transgender support in the Fresno area, Gay Central Valley and the Fresno LGBT Community Center will be adding a Transgender Support Group to our monthly calendar of events. 
The Fresno LGBT Community Center Transgender Support Group, will meet twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays
at the Fresno LGBT Center, at 7pm
Our first meeting will be on Tuesday, October 6th. Our meetings will focus on transgender issues, education and resources. 
We have put together a team of local, transgender leaders to facilitate this new support group.
For more information about how you can be involved, please email bobbie@gaycentralvalley.org or info@gaycentralvalley.org
The Fresno LGBT Community Center is located at 
1067 N Fulton in the Tower District
More details to come as we finalize the overall themes, issues and guest speakers for upcoming meetings.
Please join us for our first meeting on Tuesday, October 6th @7pm

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Latest Gay Central Valley Newsletter


Check out our latest Email Newsletter HERE

It's filled with upcoming local events and news. 

Sign Up for our Newsletter by visiting our main site HERE

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

EVENT: Kampout 2015



EVENT: Art For AIDS Fundraiser





On September 3rd, we will be holding our second Art for AIDS show and sale at the Chinatown Youth Center (CYC) from 6pm until 9pm. It is free to attend and there will be complimentary snacks and beverages. All proceeds will go directly to the walk. If you are a local artist that would like to donate artwork, please call (559) 486-1469. Thank you and we hope to see you there.

EVENT: LGBT Healthcare Town Hall


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

INTERVIEW: Haley White - The Films Of Reel Pride 26




Fresno Reel Pride 26 runs from September 16th to September 20th. Visit reelpride.com for all the details. Also check out their Facebook Page

Gay Central Valley will once again be running the concessions stand at this year’s film festival. This year, we will partner with local LGBT organizations My LGBT Plus and Trans-e-motion.

Haley White is a new addition to the Fresno Reel Pride family. She came on board this year (Reel Pride 26) to work on programming the films for the festival. I reached out to her with a few questions about this year’s film festival.

Check out Gay Central Valley’s BLOG for continued coverage of Fresno Reel Pride 26 …


How did you get involved with Reel Pride?

I met Reel Pride Treasurer Brian Carnes at a party back in February. He mentioned how they needed more volunteers. I initially thought he meant they needed additional help the week of the festival. I’ve volunteered in the past to help out Gay Central Valley with concessions, so I told Brian I’d be happy to help usher and whatnot. I had no idea Jon Carroll had retired and that they were searching for a new programmer. When they talked to me later about the position and asked if I had any interest in potentially filling it, I think I said yes before I entirely thought it through. I’m glad I did, though. It’s been a lot of a hard work and I’ve been flying blind a good majority of the time, but I’ve met a lot of great people and the work is right up my alley. 

Why do you think Reel Pride is important to Fresno and the LGBT Community?

I’m all for anything that brings art and culture to underserved areas. We have a lot of great things happening in Fresno (in spite of our bad rap for being a hick town), but outside of Reel Pride, special Fathom events at Regal and Sierra Vista, and the great work Fresno Filmworks is doing locally, we don’t have a whole lot of independent cinema available in town. I believe it’s very important for people to see themselves represented in art, so I think it’s great thing that, at least once a year, local LGBT folks have the opportunity to go to the movies and see films that prominently feature LGBT love stories and characters. It’s also a good way to bring business and foot traffic to the Tower District, which is my ‘hood. So I love that, too.

Tell us a bit about your background. Why did you become involved with Reel Pride? What are you passionate about?

I’m pretty involved in the local film and theatre scenes. I work as a Production Coordinator at Windsong Productions by day and I volunteer a lot with The New Ensemble and Stageworks Fresno in my spare time. I’m also the Campaign Coordinator for I Bike Fresno. I am a big proponent of “being the change” you wish to see in the world. For me, as an artist, a big part of that means getting out and making sure art does a better job of representing actual reality. I’m a filmmaker and writer, I’m always cognizant of trying to tell stories from the point of view of ‘the other’. Even as a consumer, I don’t want to see whitewashed, clichéd, heteronormative storytelling all the time. I imagine there are plenty of other people out there who feel the same way. Any opportunity I have to bring art that fits “outside the box” to people, so to speak, I definitely want to be involved in that.

On a separate-but-related note: I’m bisexual. My sister is gay. We grew up in one of those typically anti-gay religious households where being LGBT just wasn’t an option. It took us both a lot of heartache and pain to get to a place where we could be ok with being ourselves outright (including my sister’s divorce from her high school sweetheart and my own long and ugly road to a place of much-needed sobriety five years ago). Anything I can do to help normalize the way LGBT people are perceived, or help a young or struggling LGBTQ person see there are plenty of people out there just like them, without them having to go through the same years of self-torment and abuse…I would definitely say that is something I am passionate about. That is huge for me. 

How many films can we expect to see from this year's festival?

Including shorts, we have about 60 films this year.

Which communities will be directly impacted by films at this year's festival?

We made every effort to ensure our programming was as diverse as possible. We cover all the L,G,B and T groups. We’ve got a film about an asexual man. A few films about drag performers. A short about a genderqueer woman. Films that cover multiple spectrums of sexuality and/or gender. A film about living with AIDS. Films about first love and coming out of the closet. Love stories for older demographics. Films about LGBT children with supportive parents. Films about bullies. Films that might be a little divisive for our audiences. And even outside of that, we really tried to get a healthy balance of drama vs comedy, foreign vs American, documentary vs feature, and so on and so forth. We really wanted to live up to our “Films For Everyone” motto.


The Tower Theater is the main venue. What are the other venues for this year's festival?


Our second venue is the Voice Shop, just down the street from Tower Theater. It’s an intimate setting that holds about 50 people, so I recommend showing up early for seats there or buying tickets in advance. 

http://www.towertheatrefresno.com/
http://paintedtablecatering.com/
http://www.thevoiceshop.com/

What is the film opening the festival all about?

Addicted to Fresno was a great score for us, for obvious reasons. The movie is directed by Jaime Babbit, written by Karey Dornetto, and produced by Andrea Sperling. If you don’t know those three names, you should get on google because all of them are important powerhouse women doing big things in Hollywood. 

The film follows the lives of two co-dependent sisters (Judy Greer and Natasha Lyonne) as they work as maids in Fresno. It’s a raunchy comedy and it pokes A TON of fun at our little town. Anyone who wants to come see it is going to need to bring their sense of humor with them or they might find themselves a little offended. 


What about the closing film?

Our closer is Tangerine. It’s an indie film and Sundance darling that was shot solely on an iPhone 5S. The film centers around Sin-dee, a hooker who finds out her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail serving a 28 day stint, and her best friend, Alexandra. Kitana Kiki-Rodriguez and Mya Taylor star in the film; they are both transgender actresses who are garnering Oscar-buzz for their performances. Although the movie is a revenge comedy, it has a ton of heart. 


What do you see as the highlight of the foreign films this year?
Gosh, I have so many favorites. The foreign entries were actually very strong, across the board, this year. In The Grayscale was a hit with our entire Reel Pride Board of Directors. Same with The New Girlfriend. I also am a big fan of Drown. Liz in September. A Gay Girl in Damascus. So many more. I’ll stop now or I’ll end up naming all of them.


Tell us about the youth film highlight?

We’re showing a total of four youth films this year and they’re all built around “The Year We ThoughtAbout Love”, which is this great documentary about a group of queer teens in a theatre group in Boston. Their stories are awkward and charming and endearing; so much so, you can’t  help but remember what it feels like to be that age yourself while you’re watching it.


Can you tell us about the transgender films included this year?

We have a fair amount of trans-centric films this year. I’ve already mentioned Tangerine and The New Girlfriend. Deep Run is a documentary about trans life deep in the conservative Bible Belt. In The Turn is a documentary about a 10-year-old transgender girl who finds acceptance and empowerment in the company of a queer roller derby collective. We’re showing that one free to the public at 1pm on Sunday. There are a couple other drag movies I think people will be excited to see. 
We’ve also got some really great Trans shorts this year, I’d specifically like to mention two animated films by filmmaker Iris Moore; Mindtease and Dancer and the Crow. They’re just fantastic. Keep your eyes peeled for them.


How are lesbians represented in films this year?

We’ve got festival favorites Marina Rice Bader and Michelle Ehlen coming to support their movies (Raven’s Touch and S&M Sally, respectively). Liz in September and Summer of Sangaile are both beautiful foreign language dramas. All About E is an Australian comedic thriller with a great, tender love scene. Portrait of a SerialMonogamist is a lot of fun. Out inthe Night and A Gay Girl inDamascus: The Amina Profile are both powerful documentaries about really important, timely subjects. And again, we have some great shorts. I’m really excited to feature the short film Ma/ddy by filmmaker Devon Kirkpatrick. The movie totally punched me in the gut when I saw it for the first time at Outfest. Kirkpatrick won a feature package from IFC so I hope we’ll have the opportunity to bring her full-length version back to Reel Pride down the road. 


What is your favorite film of the festival?

How can I answer that?!?! Haha. I was moved by so many of these films. Charmed by so many others. There’s a reason they all made the line-up. That being said, I think The New Girlfriend is damn near a perfect piece of cinema and The Glamour and The Squalor is a really well-made documentary. 


But man, I could pick about a dozen more.


What about the parties? What are the must go to events?

Some must go to events? All of them! Opening night  and closing night both have great movies. Directors preview party for all passes holders at Engelmanns is also a great event to experience prior to the festival and this year our men's and women's party will have special hosts and entertainment. The men’s party is scheduled for Friday night and the women's party will take place on Saturday evening.  The youth pizza and froyo party, for students age 16-25, will happen on Saturday afternoon.

Give us the inside information. How does the public get the best deal to this year's festival?

Festival Passes are really the way to go. Five days of films for as low as $95. The best deals come with Directors Level passes and above; they allow entrance to all parties and earn you priority seating. People can check out reelpride.com for membership prices and perks.