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Tulare Loses Jontel Reedom, Who Won On The Football Field -- and In Our Hearts

Jontell Reedom was a brother, a son, a teammate and, to this author, a fellow graduate of Tulare high schools, Class of 2009. As such, this author shares the grief of this tragic loss with the loved ones of Mr. Reedom. 

To move forward productively, we can learn necessary lessons from this tragic incident, while offering support where immediately needed. To remember Jontell properly, we ought to support loved ones, promote mental health awareness and properly investigate the circumstances surrounding his passing.

As our community has navigated this difficult time, it has become clear that Mr. Reedom was a beloved community member. He was a football star in high school, where he was recruited by top universities like USC, among others. He was also an attendee of Tulare schools from an early age, according to former classmates. Jontell is survived by siblings, who are currently gathering donations on GoFundMe.com (https://www.gofundme.com/burial-expense-for-jontell-reedom) for funeral and hospital expenses. 

In the wake of this tragedy, family and friends of Jontell Reedom have asked that mental health awareness be increased and prioritized. Under the slogan, 'Treat the ill, not kill the ill', they have asked for 24-hour treatment facilities and increased counseling services in general. This is their chosen legacy, and government and non-profit organizations have the impetus and responsibility to follow Mr Reedom's example: to catch the pass from his loved ones, and run far with it.

Lastly, we must call upon the proper supervising authorities to examine the circumstances surrounding his death. In doing so, the proper designees would allow the people of Tulare, and Jontell Reedom's family in particular, to receive proper clarity and closure. As a professional in the field of criminal justice, this author recognizes the importance of open and accountable processes. Without a preconceived outcome determined, an unbiased investigation is a route to understanding in this heretofore confusing and saddening situation.

Jontell Reedom will be remembered forever as a son, brother, teammate, classmate. His smile reverberates across social media today, as an expression of a young man's love and joy. The grief and loss that we feel can spur us to action in order to remember him properly. LGBT Tulare offers its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Jontell Reedom.



LGBT Tulare

LGBT, Local Athletes Shine

The 2016 Olympics in Rio De Jineiro have been an amazing spectacle in sport and pizzazz. Not only have the athletes competed at a high level, but the LGBT community has seen many of their own community members thrive in the spotlight.

This year, many countries sent athletes who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, including the United States! The rainbow colors of the Olympic Rings took on a new meaning this year.

 The first Gold Medal won by Brazil was earned by openly lesbian judo star Rafaela Silva. She took home the top prize after coming out on August 10th to a popular magazine during an interview. What a great accomplishment for Silva, Brazil and the LGBTQ+ community!

Along with Judo, the queer community also represented at swimming, with Rachel Bruni of Italy earning a Silver Medal in the 10K marathon! She may have swam far, but she took queer visibility even further with this great showing.


Lastly, British diver and openly gay man Tom Daley took home another Bronze Medal this year. By winning third in synchronized diving, this gay role model added to his tally that began in London 2012, where he took home Bronze in an individual event. Go Tom!

Although the Olympics are over, we don't have to wait two years to see fantastic LGBT athletes competing. They are in action all over the country and the world, showing that queer people can compete with anyone in any sport. 

In addition to queer people, local Tulare County athletes also made showings at this year's Olympics. Deajah Stevens, an alumnus of the College of Sequoias in Visalia, made it to the finals in the 200m in Rio, finishing 7th overall! 


LGBT Tulare

Transgender Remembrance Day

Today we remember all the beautiful lives lost in the Trans Community, a very special and important part of the LGBTQ community here in the Central Valley.

We at Gay Tulare especially want to remember KC Haggard, the beautiful Fresno lady whose life was cut short by a terrible act of violence. May she be remembered lovingly by our community, and may her death remind us of the work that needs to be done to end trans violence.

Click here to watch KC's heartwarming vigil:  KC Haggard Vigil


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