Bob Mackie: LGBT Role Model

Bob Mackie is a designer of clothing for the likes of Cher, Joan Rivers and Judy Garland, just to name a few. He is a highly sought-after fashion icon who deserves recognition in his own right -- not to mention his epic partnership in love, and frequently in business, with Ray Aghayan.

Not very many people see Cher, and think how wonderful her designer must be. However, part of the magic of Bob Mackie is that he dresses the stars in a way that makes it feel natural, if not completely bonkers at the same time...

Check out the 'LGBT Role Models' tab for more!

The Midterms Were So LGBTQ!

Midterm Recap: How'd we do?

The Midterm Elections provided an opportunity to engage civically in our government, for those who voted. Many of the elections across the country featured LGBTQ candidates for various state-wide polls.

So, how did the LGBTQ Community stack up? Well, it turns out we did pretty well. Even though there were both wins and losses across the board, we definitely saw some firsts and history made!

On the East Coast, Christine Hallquist became the first transgender nominee for governor of any state in the US. She ultimately lost to the incumbent in Vermont, but her run in the guber-natioral race showed that the LGBTQ Community has unlimited potential!

Kate Brown of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado will both be governors of their states come January, and both are part of the LGBTQ Community. Brown was re-elected in Oregon as a bi-sexual woman, and Polis was the first LGBT person elected to Congress and now is governor of his state.

Wow, so much progress! These LGBTQ candidates represent one of the important stories of the midterm elections. Congratulations to all the candidates trying to improve their country and respective region of the United States!

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

What The Source!?

The Source, Visalia's new-ish LGBTQ community center, has a lot to offer the community. From a splashy website to mental health services, The Source is a go-to site for Central Valleyians in the Queer Community. But the important question is -- What is The Source and why should you care? For the answer, read on!

For starters, if you haven't already, you really need to check out their website. Whether you're a computer programmer or a casual Googler -- you will apprecaite TheSourceLGBT.com. It's got tabs for everything, from upcoming events, to mental health resources and HIV/STD testing. They also have a whole tab dedicated to transgender issues, and another one for social groups and events! Plus, the website is super cute and colorful. Score!

Another awesome feature of The Source is that it exists! Can you believe the Tulare/Visalia area has its own LGBT center? I can't. There are plenty of major cities that don't even have an LGBT center, and now Visalia has its very own -- right downtown!

Which brings me to my next point -- the actual building itself! It's located right downtown, at 208 Main Street in Visa. They are open 3-6pm on Tuesday to Friday! What a great place to meet fellow like-minded people -- and then go to Starbucks! Or whatever you enjoy doing downtown. :)

In conclusion, you should totally check out The Source. It's worth your time, and hey, you might just meet someone as awesome as you are.

 

LGBT Tulare

Brooke Ashjian: What's Going On?

Brooke Ashjian, president of the Fresno Unified School District Board, has been in the news a lot lately. If you've been reading any of these articles, you might be a bit confused. Let's break it down.

The origin of these issues boils down to comments made on the website, Ripoffreport.com, on which Mr. Ashjian wrote derogatory remarks about Gay Tulare (now named LGBT Fresno). The comments were made using fake names, and then tracked to the President's computer.

Well, as you could guess, the LGBTQ Community has been less-than-impressed with Mr. Ashjian since then. Many are left wondering how and why this occured, and what to do about it.

To make matters worse, President Ashjian went on to make disparaging comments about the LGBTQ Community overall, not just Gay Fresno, a partner organization to this Chapter, LGBT Tulare. In an interview with the Fresno Bee, Mr. Ashjian stated that unbiased sexual education could have negative consequences for "kids who are extremely moldable at this stage". 

Perhaps you're wondering how somebody can get away with such archaic stated opinions and obvious bullying. Well, he might not be getting away with it, after all.

According to a recent Fresno Bee report, the Fresno Unified school board will vote in the next several weeks regarding possible disciplinary action against Brooke Ashjian. Let's hope they do.

Better late than never, right?

Pete Burns Passes Away At 57

Pete Burns,  vocalist and song-writer for the band Dead or Alive, has passed away due to cardiac arrest today, Ocotober 24th, 2016. He is remembered for many great things, among them the song "You Spin Me Round", which became a huge hit when it debuted in 1984.

He is known as a gender-bending performer whose aesthetic always pushed boundaries related to gender norms. His eccentric style and amazing musical talent made him a star in the LGBTQ community.

Pete is survived by his parter, Michael Simpson, whom he married. Regarding his sexual orientation, Pete stated that people "always want to know – am I gay, bi, trans or what? I say, forget all that. There's got to be a completely different terminology and I'm not aware if it's been invented yet. I'm just Pete."

He will be remembered as a pioneer for being unafraid to be unique and true to oneself: for incredible talent as well as brave pioneerness. 

 

LGBT Tulare

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