This isn't just a Fresno Pride event it regional and the only Pride event that in the Valley that includes a parade!
Up to 5,000 people will attend the parade, parade begins at 10 am and the route is east bound on Olive from Palm to Maroa.
The Festival is a street festival and is roughly at Fulton Street and Alhambra, the festival entrance is at Fulton and Olive.
Admission is only $5
We posted this to our Facebook page on March 29, 2016 after escrow had been opened to sell the bar.
"A little more than a year ago, Karl, one of the owners of The Phoenix, was crossing a street and was hit by a car. The impact broke his pelvis in multiple places and broke his collar bone. In the year that's passed since then, we've been working out which duties we can split up based on his new limitations.
"We were reaching a new balance in this when his previously-diagnosed congestive heart failure (resulting in several previous heart attacks) got suddenly worse in late February 2016.
"Running a bar is simultaneously surprisingly difficult and ridiculously easy; sometimes for exactly the same reasons. Health takes precedence over business so The Phoenix is closing for good on April 23, 2016.
"There are several events already planned in April and they will continue as scheduled. Emperor XL's beer bust on Saturday, April 2, the IDC Beer Bust on Friday, April 8, the Agents of O party on Saturday, April 16. (There may be an additional event added but stay tuned for that.)
"Join us for the next three and a half weeks. We'll be having some cool things to give away (Need--or just want--an extra "Beers for Bears" T-Shirt? If you already have one, come get another while the supply lasts. Misplaced an anniversary shot glass? Come get a replacement while we still have plenty. Or, come get one of the misprinted ones.) )
"This is not the failure some predicted; we're on track to have our 4th most profitable quarter ever by the end of this month; and mid-summer last year, we broke even on the investment to open a bar.
"It sounds cheezy (and it seems that every business that closes says something like this; but it makes more sense now) but thank you to everybody who helped make The Phoenix the success it has been. This is a great opportunity for Karl and Bryan to do the things they want to do together while they still can. (Yes. Really.)"
“In the age we live in, every flaw and misstep is recorded on film or video, then spilled like red ink over the Internet and discussed ad nauseam, until even the photographic evidence comes into question.
Whether it’s a grainy, night-vision sex tape, a DUI mug shot or a fashion blunder that results in exposing more than the proper amount of skin, the culture of celebrity has shown us that committing a public mistake or having a bad reputation makes for a compelling read and good television. Just because average people don’t have their infelicities splashed all over TMZ doesn’t mean that the rumors that breed a bad reputation won’t spread like wildfire. And just like the gossip and stories that crowd the pages of tabloids, some of these incidents are self-created.
The question is: How much of our reputation is truly who we are?
As our lives unfold, our personas reveal themselves. These are the aspects of our character that the public perceives as who we are. As a matter of fact, the word “persona” comes from the Latin word for mask, therefore indicating that what people see isn’t always what they get.
The bookish nerd. The dim gym rat. The hilarious drunk. The pretty-boy heartbreaker. These and other facades have a basis in who and what we truly are, but they are built by you to give you an identity so you can find your niche. No one wants to fade into the background, so we embellish, act out and decide who or what we want to be by the actions that we take.
So why do we create reputations that don’t reflect our true nature? Is it because our reputation is who we truly want to be? Or is it because it will mask who we really are? Is it armor to hide behind? Or is it a fictional magnet that we
feel will draw in the people we really want to be with?
A bad reputation may scare off the people you’re afraid of, but if someone is really interested in you, they will look past your reputation and uncover the real person inside. The same goes for someone who catches your eye; believing the hype surrounding someone that you like may prevent you from realizing their true nature. Why judge someone by the mistakes they’ve made? Would you want someone to judge you because of a story they heard on the street from an unreliable source?
Every year, it is our goal to bring a wide array of LGBTQ cinema and entertainment home to the Central Valley. We are pleased to announce our leadership for the upcoming year, including:
Board President & Festival Director
Co-Founder & Director of Reel Pride Endowment
Augie G. Blancas
Vice President & Director of Communications
Vice President & Director of Sponsorships
Director of Memberships
Director of Volunteers
Director of Programming
Fresno Reel Pride proudly presents its 27th Annual LGBTQ Film Festival September 21-25, 2016.
For more information, visit www.reelpride.com.
Join us for a Rainbow Event and Wedding Expo!
We will be offering event and wedding planning information and showcasing inclusive vendors to the LGBT community. There will be a human and dog fashion show, and the 40-50 vendors will offer services for people planning any type of event!
“Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who?” –Roger Daltrey
I was talking to my romantic partner in crime, Millie, and we were talking about the “invisible colors” sort to speak; those of us in the community who aren’t really represented either in pop culture in general or even within the community itself.
Millie is a part of the asexual community and I’m part of the bisexual community, and we’re both aware of invisibility of our orientations.
Now, it’s not complete invisibility; with the age of the internet, particularly with social media such as Facebook and Tumblr, we can find other members of our communities and see that we’re not alone. Millie has pointed me to dozens of blogs and personal pages dedicated to the asexual community, as I have shown her resources of the bisexual community. Other queer communities, such as the gender variation community (bi-gender, genderqueer, etc.), are using the same power of the internet to reach out and connect.
It has been great to find such a community online. Not only have I made contact with bisexual brothers and sisters all over the world – including being interviewed for the BiCast online radio show by a British bisexual named Becca – but thanks to Millie sharing her resources with me, I have learned a great deal about the asexual community, what their stories are, how they define themselves, and their own struggles for acceptance not only in the broader society, but within the broader queer community.
Saturday Night Live has gotten in on the fun and has provided their own parody of the Pure Flix franchise with this trailer, which could just as easily be entitled God’s Not Gay:
This is one of those “good news-bad news” stories. We seldom get to witness an actual cure to a disease, but that is exactly what’s happening with Hepatitis C.
First, a very short Hepatitis C 101: “Hep C” is an ongoing challenge in our communities. It is transmitted through blood. It can be transmitted through needle sharing, sharing toothbrushes or razors, tattoos (including the ink), body piercing, through open cuts or sexual transmission where blood is present (menstrual blood, vaginal or anal abrasions). It is far more prevalent than HIV, is much more easily transmitted and is seen in a wide range of populations.
Many baby-boomers are infected with Hep C. Individuals who worked in jobs or served in the military where they were exposed to blood through open cuts were often exposed to Hepatitis C. They in turn, often unknowingly, infected their wives/husbands/partners.
Folks who inject drugs and share needles are also at high risk for Hep C. The blood can be in the syringe and thus injected with the drug into the next user.
Then, of course, there is the phenomenon of tattooing and body piercing that has become a common practice for people of all ages. When tattoos and piercings are done correctly in a sanitary setting, they are perfectly safe. It’s the ones done at home in someone’s basement by their uncle’s best friend or the shop that doesn’t take proper precautions that have the potential to carry Hep C. They often use the same needles and the same ink over and over, or don’t properly clean their equipment.
One of the big differences between HIV and Hep C is that the Hep C virus (HCV) lives much longer outside the body. A study at Yale University published in 2013 showed that HCV can live on a surface for up to 2 weeks and in a syringe for up to 63 days. While the virus may lose some of it virulence, it is still considered to be infectious.
So, for the reasons stated above, it’s rather clear why there are so many people living with Hepatitis C. If left untreated, Hep C often leads to liver disease including liver cancer and other liver-related problems, which may lead to death. We know that many people living with HIV are co-infected with Hepatitis C, which can complicate both conditions. It is extremely important that persons living with HIV are tested for Hep C.
For years the outcry from folks in the healthcare and prevention world has been that while we can test individuals for Hep C, many had no access to treatment. There have been virtually no programs to help pay for treatment and nowhere to send clients for assistance.
Until recently, the most common treatment for Hep C was interferon. I’ve heard many Hep C clients compare their treatment to chemotherapy. The side effects were nearly intolerable and the outcome was often disappointing. Many people were weakened by the treatment and died.
BUT then, a HUGE change! A couple of years ago we began hearing about the progress in the treatment of Hep C – not just a treatment, but an actual cure!
Last spring, I attended a conference where the instructor, a local physician, used the word “cure.” Just a few days ago, one of our staff members asked a healthcare provider, “is this truly a cure?” and the answer was YES. Most studies have shown a high success rate between 85 and 100 percent.
This is outstanding news, and of course we are very excited. The problem is the cost. The new course of treatment is about 12 weeks, but can be as little as eight or as many as 20. The average cost for that treatment is approximately $80,000 to $100,000. There are some medications coming on the market that claim to be about half the cost, but is even $50,000 realistic for most people? Many insurance companies are refusing to cover these drugs because of the cost. Most drug companies have patient assistance programs for folks who cannot afford their medication, but those programs are very limited and don’t come close to covering the number of people who need help. Hopefully, over time the cost will come down considerably, but for now, many people are left out of the opportunity for a cure.
None of this is to suggest that the pharmaceutical companies are the bad guys. I understand that research is extremely costly and it often takes years to bring a drug to market.
I am thrilled with the fact that people with HIV are living longer, healthier lives because of the ongoing progress of HIV medication. And, here we are with an actual cure for Hepatitis C.
But, it is still difficult for me to accept that $1,200 a pill is reasonable. I have no idea how much profit is in that one pill, but if I had to take one pill once a day for 12 weeks, that is $100,800. So, the good news is, there is a cure for Hepatitis C. The bad news is, it’s going to cost you $100,000.
In a reversal from its previous decision Clovis Unified School District voted Wednesday night to change its dress code policy. Trustees decided to adopt new language that is gender neutral. See video above from ABC 30
Opening in May, theSOURCE (http://thesourcelgbt.org), promises to be an important reSOURCE and focal point for the LGBT community. Serving Tulare and Kings Counties from the main office in Visalia, and with satellite offices planned in Tulare and other cities, it will become the hub of activities, referrals, information, social activities, history, and more. With contacts and advice from one of California's premiere LGBT organizations, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, theSOURCE will provide a central clearinghouse for the gay community and our allies. With special focus on LGBT youth services, transgender issues, and improving access to mental and physical health services, it will be a safe place for young and old to learn and grow.
From the webpage of theSOURCE LGBT Center:
Our MISSION is to provide spaces within our communities for the LGBT+ population to Learn, Grow, Belong, Transform, Question +Support. Our VISION: cultivate new resources through advocacy, partnerships and fundraisingto unite and advance the LGBT+ community in Tulare & Kings Counties.
Fundraising for theSOURCE has rocketed, with the group's initial $5,000 goal nearing achievement in a few short weeks. Hosted at a Crowdrise site, online donations can be made here. Amounts over the $5,000 goal will be directed towards operations and activities of the new center.
On Saturday, March 27, 2016, the VIsalia Times Delta highlighted the new group and it's founders, in a bold and extensive article in the "Inspire" section. That article can be seen here.
theSOURCE will be located at 208 W. Main, Suite B, Visalia. (downstairs at the Montgomery Plaza). Stay tuned for hours of operation. Facebook here. Webpage here. Mail to: theSOURCE PO Box 188, Visalia, CA 93279
With Pride celebrations around the corner, and warmer weather, I’d like to make what I call a “modest proposal.”
Elsewhere, I have admitted to trolling Facebook. Rather than spending the rest of our natural lives discussing whether FB honestly reflects or distorts a clear vision of our communities, humor me and assume this: A lot of folks use it.
If FB is to believed, every group, event and me-too organization needs you to attend, supported by your attendance, or best yet, with your dollars. Now, the Goose is good with all that. There is little question that I use FB to extensively promote this publication and other volunteer activities I find of value. But, I also like to say, as a senior, I know better to wait for an email or a phone call – I learn about most events I attend via FB and “distribution lists.”
My informal non-scientific frequency table of FB topics: Transgender issues, bullying issues, youth events, youth needs, youth housing, youth abuse, pride events and all the other fine stuff from bars (yes, they were the original supporters), and maybe suicide prevention. Note that I didn’t mention all of this season’s political stuff and latest outrage.
Having recently whined publicly about the state of the “communities,” I have been politely welcomed to become part of the modern notion of what gay life is today. This invitation was from a group of younger peers. My friendly pundits suggest that I am much too caught up in the old war crimes against our communities, particularly from the bad old ‘80s and ‘90s.
The message to me was “to stop looking for a boogey man” behind every event. They argue there are many places that are accepting and supportive of us. In other words, to quote someone less kind, I was “a tiring pale copy of Larry Kramer.” Actually, I thought it was a great shot to be compared to Larry Kramer. I admire his passion, but I would not compare to Mr. Kramer or his personal sacrifice.
I am sure that after seeing 200 friends pass on of HIV, and probably another 500 “I knew of,” my world view has forever changed. Some of my readers lived or studied that history and keep that memory alive. No one has to like it, accept it, or even endorse it. Generally, most just ignore it. Even Hillary got it wrong vis a vis Nancy Reagan’s role and the HIV epidemic. Bottom line: Once you have a friend die in your arms from HIV, it changes you. I don’t expect my younger peers to understand. I ask for no sympathy – they are my memories, and they are your history.
Long before we had to suffer through the tired tropes of today’s romantic comedies, we had fairy tales; the sugar-spun stories of our childhood that made us believe in unrealistic things like talking animals, happy endings and Prince Charmings.
They also made us puzzle over another important fact. No, I’m not talking about the obvious problems with wearing glass footwear or how you can apparently remain alive inside of a wolf’s stomach after he eats you. I’m talking about how fairy tales made us believe no matter what our station in life, be it stable boy, farmhand, fisherman or pauper, we could win the hand of our true love with nothing but devotion and a pure heart.
So answer me this question: If you met someone that you felt a connection with today, and they told you they were a stable boy or a fisherman, how would you react? Are you being honest?
Because even in this day and age, when it comes to dating and relationships, we still reside within the confines of the ancient caste system when it comes to the subject of employment. The truth of the matter is, we all work for a living. Whether you are digging ditches or performing brain surgery, a job is a job.
Even though many people use their job as a way of identifying themselves, a job doesn’t make you who you are. When you die, you will be remembered for the feelings you stirred in those left behind. Gravestones don’t say: “Here lies Eric. He was a great pharmacist.” The inscriptions say the person was loved and will be missed; that they were a great father, a wonderful brother, an amazing friend, or a loving partner.
We are defined by our actions and our interactions with the other members of the human race, and your personality will shine through whether you are holding a scalpel or a shovel. But, even though we shouldn’t use our employment or unemployment as a factor, the question of what you do for a living is usually brought up in the first few sentences between two people meeting for the first time – usually right after your name, your age and the place where you reside.
So, does the person’s response to “What do you do?” affect your decision on whether or not to go any further? Because I can pretty much guarantee someone’s talent for flipping burgers or dealing priceless art is not going to make a difference once you hit the sheets.
Here’s an example: Years ago, I met a guy and we had been hanging out for a few weeks and none of my friends had met him yet. When they asked me what he did for a living, I told them straight up: “He’s an assistant manager at a Burger King.”
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. It’s probably exactly what they were thinking as they scoffed about it for a couple days. Then they met him. He was goofy-sexy-cute like Chris Pratt with perfect teeth, curly brown hair and the body of a collegiate wrestler. Needless to say, I didn’t hear much more derision after that.
Prevention efforts to halt the spread of HIV traditionally focused on HIV-negative individuals.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a strategy centered solely on HIV-negative persons is not enough to stop HIV transmissions. The Atlanta-based CDC says it is crucial to include HIV-positive persons in efforts to reduce the risks of transmitting HIV.
POZ Magazine (Jan. 2015) reported the CDC accented the “centrality” of HIV-positive people to prevention efforts because targeting them is more probable in reducing HIV incidence than working to change the behaviors of millions who are at risk for infection.
The AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) Program, the training arm of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, informs the rate of new HIV infections in the United States has remained in the stable range of 50,000 per year. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) – sometimes referred to as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) – improves the health of HIV-positive individuals who are in appropriate medical care and lowers the risks of HIV transmission.ART reduces the HIV viral load, which can prevent new infections, an outcome termed “treatment as prevention.”
It is important to understand that maximal suppression of the HIV viral load does not mean one is cured of HIV. The CDC defines viral load suppression as less than 200 copies per milliliter of blood; an HIV-positive person is considered “undetectable” when the HIV viral load is less than about 40 copies per milliliter of blood. Current medical literature indicates there has never been a recorded case involving an undetectable HIV-positive person transmitting HIV.
Unfortunately, not all HIV-positive Americans are taking antiretroviral therapy, which means many people have yet to achieve maximal suppression of their viral load. Clearly, other risk reduction and behavioral modification methods are needed in the fight to prevent new HIV infections.
The clinical interaction with HIV-positive persons about transmission risk behaviors with the goal of reducing HIV transmission is referred to as “prevention with positives” (PWP).
While many people with HIV infection have a real desire to prevent others from being infected with HIV, it can be challenging for some people to disclose their HIV+ status when engaging in high-risk behaviors that could place others at risk for infection. HIV-positive individuals who repeatedly present with sexually transmitted infections may be placing themselves and others at additional health risks, as STIs are often accompanied by increased risk for HIV transmission. In these cases, information alone may not be enough to change risky behaviors in sexual practices or drug use. Personal conversations involving a harm-reduction approach may provide clear concepts of the risks of certain behaviors and strategies on how to reduce those risks or avoid them completely.
Some HIV-positive persons may have trouble sticking with their safer goal behaviors; a referral to a mental health clinician or to prevention case management could be beneficial. A mental health assessment can reveal disorders that can increase the chances of risky sexual and drug use behaviors. Health care providers can counsel an HIV-positive person to understand risk and to work to modify harmful behaviors to self and to others.
What is involved in “prevention with positives?”
The CDC now counsels health care providers to encourage their HIV-positive patients to begin ART within three months of diagnosis, regardless of CD4 count. The chance of an HIV-positive individual transmitting the HIV virus is virtually eliminated when ART treatment is successful and an undetectable viral load has been achieved.
There can sometimes be interruptions in a person’s medical care. These gaps may be created by personal patient circumstances such as mental health issues, substance abuse, or lack of financial resources. Maintaining consistent contact with a healthcare provider is key when a person is trying to suppress their viral load. Many HIV services now have a component designed to helping clients with multiple barriers stay active in care. (Having not referenced the cascade until now, it might be better not to bring it up, as it is rather an in-depth topic.)
Partner notification may be one of the most difficult issues for the HIV-positive individual. HIV service professionals (that is a big word for people not in the field) can help patients who are newly diagnosed by offering confidential partner notification – helping disclose to partners who might have been exposed with or without the patient present. Generally, HIV Testing counselors help clients identify which option works best for them.
Health professionals are advised by the CDC to assist people with HIV in finding insurance. Providers are also urged to counsel HIV-negative patients about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis. When someone tests positive at an AIDS Service Organization here, they are immediately linked to case managers that will assist them in securing the necessary resources they will need to initiate and remain engaged in care.
If you have questions about PWP, I encourage you to contact your health care provider.
Dear Hateful Members of Society,
Why do you not respect my presence? I am human. I breathe, sleep and eat just like you do.
When you see me walk in a room, instead of cracking jokes or bringing unwanted attention to me, let’s have lunch, or a conversation. I can promise if you take the time to get to know me, you will see I am worth knowing.
Oh! So you’re worried about the wall I have up! That’s nothing. It is because on the way in here, there were a few people I came across who made me feel a little uncomfortable. When getting to know me, you will see I have a more interesting side you may find more appealing than the defense mechanism I had to create in an early part of my life. You have not made it easy for me to express myself.
I was taught in the fifth grade America offers us the freedom to express ourselves. I think when the forefathers wrote about our freedoms, it had its limitations – especially for people of color – but I tried to learn how to exist. I am not me because I am looking for attention. To be honest, I would rather be treated like everyone else. I work and pay taxes, just like you. The only difference is I cannot enjoy the fruits of my labor.
When I do something as simple as going to a fast food restaurant, you make me feel as if you are not accepting me. I can tell you’re not, by the way you look at me.
I have to be honest: Trans people, including trans women of color, are a part of this world whether you like it or not. So instead of always butting heads, or merely making each other uncomfortable, let’s just agree to disagree, and carry on.
Oh, and to those who say I am just trying to be like them, I know that could make you feel defeated, but that is not the case here.
There is a great deal of information coming out about PrEP. This column addresses that information and offers answers to questions one might have about a new way to fight HIV/AIDS infection.
“PrEP” is the drug Truvada, manufactured by Gilead. PrEP is another way to keep a person from being infected with HIV.
Up until now, all we have been able to advocate to prevent HIV infection, other than total abstinence, is the practice of safer sex in several ways, one of those safer ways being through the use of condoms. But let’s face it, there are times when a condom is not handy or the moment and the mood are at a pace where a condom just never gets used. There are some who do not like to use condoms and prefer to go without and take their chances. All of this is where PrEP comes in.
PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. It is a way for people who do not have HIV but who are at very high risk of getting it to prevent HIV infection by taking a pill every day. The pill contains two medicines that are also used to treat HIV. If a person takes PrEP and is exposed to HIV through sex or injection drug use, these medicines can work to keep the virus from taking hold in the body.
PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool and can be combined with condoms and other prevention methods to provide even greater protection than when used alone. But people who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every three months (source: AIDS.gov).
“Pre-exposure” means “before an event happens;” “prophylaxis” is defined as “an action to prevent disease especially by specified means against a specified disease.”
PrEP is actually a combination of two drugs called tenofovir and emtricitabine. Truvada stops HIV from reproducing in the body. Truvada is one of the drugs often used to treat HIV-positive persons; it is prescribed in concert with other drugs (sometimes called a “cocktail”) to treat HIV-positive persons because one drug is not enough to prevent the virus from replicating and spreading in the body of someone already infected with HIV.
There is also a Post Exposure Prophylaxis, called “PEP.” This, too, is the drug Truvada.
PEP differs from PrEP in that PEP is when an individual starts taking HIV medications after having been exposed to HIV and takes the drug for a month. AIDS.gov informs: “PEP must begin within 72 hours of exposure, before the virus has time to make too many copies of itself in the body.” A person on PEP is advised to discuss with their doctor the possibility of being prescribed PrEP after having been on PEP as a way to maximize protection.
PrEP is for persons who are considered at-risk for HIV infection. How do you know if you might be “at risk?”
Here are some, but not all, of the risk factors for HIV which could indicate someone is a good candidate to be on PrEP: being in a magnetic relationship – a relationship where one partner is HIV negative and the other partner is HIV positive, being an individual who engages in condomless receptive anal sex with a partner who is HIV positive or with a partner whose HIV status is unknown, being an injection drug user, or being forced to have sex by a partner when one has not wanted to.
PrEP is generally well-tolerated by most individuals. However, it is important to discuss the topic of the possible side effects of taking Truvada with a health care provider. PrEP may not be for someone who finds it difficult to adhere to a regimen of taking medications on time. Truvada must be taken once a day every day for it to be effective. The CDC website says when PrEP is used consistently, it can reduce a person’s chance of being infected by HIV from sex by more than 90 percent.
Among persons who inject drugs, the CDC says using PrEP consistently could reduce the risk of getting HIV by more than 70 percent.
Does taking PrEP mean people can stop using condoms? No. Gilead recommends condoms should be used in addition to taking PrEP. While using PrEP significantly decreases the chances of contracting HIV from sex, it cannot prevent a person being infected with sexually transmitted diseases; the CDC condom fact sheet states consistent condoms use can help prevent acquiring sexually transmitted infections. The CDC says, while an individual on PrEP can significantly reduce risk of HIV infection if taken daily, a person can combine additional strategies like condom use with PrEP to reduce risk of HIV infection even further.
It is highly advisable that individuals consult with health care professionals experienced with infectious diseases like HIV when considering PrEP. There are important protocols a patient must first undergo prior to taking Truvada and then there are recommended quarterly visits to the health care provider to have labs checked. Health care providers who are knowledgeable, trained, and experienced in the field can be your best initial resource; that could lead to a satisfying long-term health care relationship when it comes to being on PrEP.
If you have questions about PrEP or would like to explore getting on PrEP, I encourage you to contact your health care provider.
Article republished with permission from The Gay Word.
It’s time to plan your spring and summer travel.
Here are some ideas:
You can’t beat the mile-high city. I like the Warwick Hotel in trendy uptown. It offers free bikes and is just steps away from the bars and restaurants.
Southwest, United, and Frontier airlines all fly from Indy to Denver. Starting April 23, you can hop on the new light-rail line into the city. Until then, you are stuck with the RTD bus ($11, exact change required, no credit cards accepted).
Don’t miss the new Art Museum, the trendy Highlands District (west of downtown), and of course Capitol Hill and the Botanical Gardens. The Mall on 16th Street is a must, as is the newly remodeled Union Station, which features a hotel and trendy new restaurants.
The City by the Bay – winter is a perfect time to visit, as the hills are green and temperatures are in the 60s.
Stay in the Upper Market/Castro at the newly remodeled Becks Motor Lodge. Hike the hills of the city to enjoy the spring wildflowers and emerald green hills. Hike with the San Francisco Hiking Club or meet up with the Frontrunners in Golden Gate Park (Saturdays at 9 a.m. at Stow Lake Boat House). Don’t miss the farmers market at the Ferry Building, which also has a lot of trendy new restaurants and shops.
Stay at the Days Inn on Diversey/Clark/Broadway (Diversey station on the Brown Line), which allows a free workout at the Century complex next door. It is a bargain and very handy. Steps from the Halsted attractions. Don’t miss the new Andy Warhol exhibit at the Art Museum.
The cherry blossoms started blooming in December, as it was so mild, but there still will be a few to be enjoyed in April. Stay at the Beacon House, Comfort Inn, or Washington Plaza Hotels in Dupont Circle/Thomas Circle area. The Beacon House features free use of the Y across the street. All three are steps from the new trendy 14th Street shops and restaurants.
Bring your bike helmet for the shared bike system. D.C. is always a great place for a long weekend. Winter ends March 1 in D.C., so it’s a great time to consider a trip.
Hop on the Metro to downtown ($2.25 off-peak).
And all the museums are free.
When making travel decisions, choose what is safest and most comfortable to your pet.
For instance, unless you’ll be able to spend a lot of time with your dog, he’ll probably be happier at home than tagging along on your trip. As a rule, cats are almost always better off in their own home.
But if you have decided it’s best to bring your pet along, follow our tips for a safe and low-stress trip.
The safest way for your dog to travel in the car is in a crate that has been anchored to the vehicle using a seat belt or other secure means. Dog restraints or seat belts are useful for preventing your dog from roaming around the car and being a distraction to the driver, but they haven’t been reliably shown to protect dogs during a crash. Most cats aren’t comfortable traveling in cars, so for their safety as well as yours, keep them in a carrier.
It’s important to restrain these carriers in the car so that they don’t bounce around and hurt your pet. Do this by securing a seat belt around the front of the carrier. Keep your pet in the back seat of the car. If an airbag deploys while your pet is in the passenger seat (even in a crate), it might injure your pet.
Dogs and cats should always be kept safely inside the car. Pets who are allowed to stick their heads out the window can be injured by particles of debris or made sick by having cold air forced into their lungs. Never transport a pet in the back of an open pickup truck.
A quick pit stop may feel like no time at all to you, but it’s too long to leave your pet in a car by himself. One hazard is heat: When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees within an hour.
What exactly IS sex?
Don’t worry, no need to doubt my credentials. I’m fully educated in many, many facets of sex and all of its peaks and valleys.
But sex itself means different things to different people. So, to quote renowned 20th century poets Cheryl James and Sandra Denton: “Let’s talk about sex.”
Don’t be scared. It’s a natural part of our animalistic behavior. We all do it. To paraphrase an old song: birds do it, bees do it – even educated fleas do it. Sex is a word that provokes different responses in different people. Sex is as much a part of us as sleeping, eating and breathing. Sex is the basis of pop songs and first-degree murder. Sex is one of the driving forces in our lives and the reason we’re here in the first place. Madonna even wrote a book about it. Wait, let me clarify: “wrote” a book about it.
That being said, it’s the one topic many people are the most uncomfortable discussing. But why is that? None of us would be here without it, and many of us can’t live without it either. Some of us idealize sex as a badge of honor or a notch on our belts, while some of us think it’s only to be whispered about behind closed doors.
No matter what anyone says, it’s not sinful or shameful, but an expression of desire and love. Maybe it’s because we all classify “sex” as different things. So let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, shall we?
To be clear, I’m not talking about sexuality itself, or where you’re classified on the Kinsey scale. I’m not talking about things like gender roles, sexual fluidity, what it means to have sex on the first date or the role of sex in situations like open relationships. I’m talking about the actual act itself. The down and dirty, muscle-clashing act performed on twisted sheets in candlelit rooms and slipping and sliding on sweaty skin in grimy back alleys and cramped back seats.
Clinically speaking, sex is the “physical, chemical, emotional and intellectual properties and processes and the cultural and social influences and experiences that are how people experience and express themselves as sexual beings. Some aspects of all those things are very diverse and unique, others are very common or collective.” God, that sounds boring.
Privilege is a word and concept I’ve seen bantered around in our community as of late.
Most notable is how we use it to define our experience, based on our perception of the power of others. We’ve all seen and heard the dialogues about the problems inherent in White, male, cisgender privilege and the resulting power differential this type of structure creates, especially for those who do not belong to the aforementioned demographic.
We spend an inordinate amount of time and energy attempting to convince others that this privilege, whether earned or ascribed, is something to be eschewed at all possible costs. Granted, there is no question our culture is built on this dynamic and for the most part, even in today’s culture, it isn’t inclusive. There are those who really do understand the inequity inherent in this dynamic and work hard to bring some sense of balance and fairness to the table.
However, for me, I realize we all have differing definitions of privilege and I believe there’s one aspect that tends to get left out of the dialogue: responsibility.
As a young boy, I had the privilege of growing up with my maternal great-grandparents being a part of my life. Having been born in the ‘50s and growing up in the ‘60s with the growing racial unrest in our country, I was in awe of the people who had survived and thrived in spite of the inequities and challenges they faced, that were far greater than any I would ever experience in my lifetime.
By the time I came of age, they had also aged and were in need of assistance. We were taught it was not only a privilege to have them in our lives, it was even more of a privilege to be able to help them do activities that, because of advanced years, they were no longer able to do without assistance. At the time, my youth was my privilege and I learned to use it for the benefit of others.
My paternal grandfather was diabetic and as a result, he ended up losing his eyesight. He required daily insulin shots and since he was blind, it was up to family members to give him his injections. We, the grandchildren. considered it a privilege to not only give him his shots but to also go with him on daily walks, holding his hand and describe the world to him through our youthful eyes. Our youth and eyesight were privileges that allowed us to be of service to another human being.
In fact, many of the most powerful experiences of my life have been due to my privilege. It wasn’t until I went to college I learned the difficult lesson of the difference between privilege and entitlement.
Feel the ‘Bern’ – You have heard the slogan by now. But I certainly wasn’t expecting much more from him, or any politician, in this cycle. I like being surprised – even if it’s by a Rachel Maddow podcast.
Did I hear Rachel ask “the Bern” — Bernie Sanders — what he thought about Hillary’s endorsement coming from Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood and NARAL? The Bern says he certainly would like their endorsement, and then mentions his list of endorsements, such as MoveOn.org.
Oh no, did the Bern intentionally or accidentally wandered into the Goose Fly Zone when he offered to Rachel that the groups endorsing Hillary were “mainstream?” I love you for it.
I have lived too long to hear a national politician label HRC for what I always thought it was, and only wanted to be: “mainstream.” Maybe that is okay for some, but for this old fowl I’d feel more comfortable with a “progressive” gay group, rather than the same old.
So the Bern seemed to burn HRC out, unless by the time this makes press, Bern hasn’t clarified his comment any further.
Soon after this news, a small item came to my attention about President Obama nominating the first gay Secretary of the Army. All fine and well, but when I heard the reportage, I thought it truly must be 1980. Why do journalists insist on saying “first openly gay” nominee? Somehow, I keep hoping progress might pick up the pace...
Article republished with permission from The Gay Word.
With the publication of her book “On Death and Dying” in 1969, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross began a worldwide discussion about death and grief.
The author presented her theory that people grieving the death of a loved one experience common emotional stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Dr. Kübler-Ross proposed these five stages of grief could be used to counsel clients to work through their sorrow.
The Huffington Post reported Dr. Kübler-Ross later regretted presenting those five stages in the way she wrote them because people mistook those stages as being linear and universal; grievers negotiate the stages in ways unique to their psychological makeup. A recent event reminded me of the five stages of grief, and of my “Death and Dying” university courses when I was completing my baccalaureate degree.
Last week, my heart breaking, I wrote the following in my journal:
“My dear friend is gone. She died two days ago, sometime in the morning. The call came shortly after she passed to the next World. The pain I feel is just indescribable. Could eyes be more swollen, the ache of the head almost as heavy as the ache in my Heart?”
In the middle of my deep grief, I became calm as I realized the foundations of my feelings. My friend taught me so much during the years we shared our respective journeys on this Earth; I could almost hear her comforting and supporting me as she had always done, countless times, when I was most in need of someone believing in me or hearing my burdens.
When Death forces its calling card upon our psyche, our sorrow is as much for the dead as it is for the living. What we see in a loved one’s death is our own mortality. The tears we shed for our loved one are tears spent for ourselves; the musings of how a good and loving Creator could allow such sorrow and pain can be self-questioning about how we treat others. In my friend’s passing, I learned again that death is an opportunity to create a new way to approach living, as I worked to move out of grief to acceptance and to a tentative truce with the knowledge of my own mortality.
Please join the National Woman’s Political Caucus of Fresno on Tuesday February 2nd at 5:30 PM at Toledo’s Mexican Restaurant
367 E. Shaw, Fresno (corner of Shaw and Fresno Streets) $18.00 for dinner, no charge if no dinner
Col. Patsy Thompson and Barbara Brass, will be speaking on their film-in production:
SURVIVING THE SILENCE: LOVE AND IMPOSSIBLE CHOICES
Col. Thompson is a highly decorated Air Force and Army National Guard veteran. She and her wife of 30 years, Barbara Brass, survived as a closeted couple in the military, including Col. Thompson's long-distance, phone-tapped tours at the Pentagon and in Panama. They bring to life the enduring impact of the anti-gay laws and attitudes and reveal how, shortly before her retirement, Col. Thompson presided over the board that dismissed Colonel Grethe Cammermeyer from the military for being a lesbian. (Col. Cammermeyer’s experience was told in her book Serving in Silence and made into a 1995 television movie executive-produced by Barbra Streisand and starring Glenn Close.) What was hidden from the public until last year is that Col. Thompson is also a lesbian. According to Col. Cammermeyer, Col. Thompson did all she could to get the best possible outcome from a horrible situation – better than if she had come out – and made the key difference in Col. Cammermeyer getting into Federal Court and being reinstated.
How many of us "gays" have wondered about the bisexuals in our lives? In this video from Buzzfeed, people identifying as gay sit down with people identifying as bisexual in order to better understand their unique position in the world...