Resolution of Recognition by City of Visalia

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group_06_02_14Members of the LGBT and straight ally community were on hand for the 3rd presentation to recognize Pride Month in the City of Visalia, California.  Accepting for the entire community, Dr. Steve Palmer and Joan Palmer, co-presidents of Tulare-Kings PFLAG.

Text of the Resolution

City of Visalia Resolution 6-2-14
Resolution of Recognition of local Activities held in honor of LGBT Month

Whereas, Visalia has a diverse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communityy which includes individuals from all walks of life; and

whereas, the Visalia Pride Lions Club is holding a recognition dinner this month where they are presenting the second annual “HEART OF A LION” award; and

Whereas, scholarships will be presented this month to LGBT students, and to students who have LGBT family members; and

Whereas, LGBT month will also be celebrated with a fund raising dance to raise money to support future scholarships for LGBT students and their families.

Now, therefore, the City Council of the City of Visalia recognizes all the organizations that are supporting the local activities in honor of LGBT month including PFLAG of Tulare and Kings Counties, COS Pride, Gay-Straight Alliance at Visalia schools and the Pride Lion’s Club of Visalia; and

Furthermore, wishes these organizations every success with their local support endeavors honoring LGBT month.

June 2,2014

Steven Nelsen, Mayor
E. Warren Gubler, Vice-Mayor
Greg Collins, Councilmember
Bob Link, Councilmember
Amy Shuklian, Councilmember

President Obama signs June 2014 LGBT Pride Month Proclamation, City of Visalia to issue Resolution

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lgbt_flag_june_2014

Once again President Barack Obama has done something certain to drive the wingnuts into even deeper fits of apoplexy. On May 30, 2014, he signed a
Presidential Proclamation — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, 2014.

The City of Visalia will be issuing a Resolution of Recognition of local Activities held in honor of LGBT Month at it’s Monday, June 2nd, 7pm meeting.  The City Council will present the resolution to Dr. Steve Palmer and Joan Palmer, co-Presidents of the Tulare-Kings Chapter of PFLAG.

In 2012 and 2013 Visalia issued proclamations declaring June of each year LGBT Pride Month in Visalia.  A change in the rules regarding Resolutions of Recognition and Proclamations in February 2014 resulted in this year’s presentation being a “Resolution of Recognition”.

The President’s Proclamation after the jump. The City’s Resolution after it’s presented on Monday.

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I see gay people

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1875_Male_Couple

Gay couple, circa 1875

Growing up, I had always viewed Visalia as hostile to gay life.  In the 70’s (the 1970’s mind you), I didn’t see any gay people.  There were some everybody suspected (everybody as in my classmates at Mt. Whitney High School. That’s a representative sample, right?), but none who I knew for certain.  That’s part of the reason it wasn’t until the 21st century, and my 40’s, that I even began my coming out process. No positive role models.

Today, I notice something completely different. The gays are everywhere!  No, really.  I see them all the time.

How do I know?  Easy.  Every time I go into a local supermarket, they’re there.  It’s clear to me they aren’t just “roommates” from the apartment complexes nearby, but are actual couples.  Watch them if you don’t believe me. (be discreet about it, though)

I suppose part of it is that I’m “in tune” to spotting them now.  My “gaydar” has been upgraded since my teens, thank goodness.  But at some point in the last thirty years Visalia has become home to a rather large, if publicly silent, group of gay and lesbian couples.  (The 2010 US Census listed Tulare County as the #1 County in California with gay couples raising children, per capita)

It’s an interesting mix of individuals, too.  Seen alone, you’d probably never spot them as gay or lesbian (I’ve noticed you gals, too…  it’s not just the men I’m noticing out there!). But in the store, engaged in one of those mundane chores of daily life, I see them.  Most of them tend to be younger couples, guys and gals in their 20’s.  (That may reflect the demographics of those apartment complexes I mentioned.)  I have noticed some older couples, too, although the higher in age they get, the more they tend to be a lesbian couple.

Now it’s almost a game for me when I go shopping.  I’ve got the gaydar on max, and I’m letting it sweep the store as I walk, seeing what I find.  (I’m easily entertained at times.) There goes a couple now.  Yep, gay.  There’s another pair, but it’s clear they’re NOT a couple, but probably are, honestly and truly, roommates.  No sharing of toothpaste or bedrooms there.  Once you start paying attention, it really is rather obvious.

Or maybe I just know what to look for these days.  Now all I have to do is figure out how to spot *single* gay men!

 

 

 

USPS Honors Harvey Milk with a stamp

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harvey_milk_stamp

Available May 22, Harvey Milk Day in California.

Self Evident Truth Project Visalia Pictures posted

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In October New York photographer iO Tillet Wright brought her photographic project to Visalia.  Simple black and white photographs illustrate the basic humanity in members of the LGBTQ community.  The Self Evident Project’s goal is 10,000 simple photos of people from all walks of life.  Here’s mine.

Jim_SET_Oct_2013
For the complete Visalia set of images, go to Self Evident Truth / Visalia

Demons, Diabolical Lifestyles, and late middle age

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gay_demon

Not my demon, apparently

Demon possessed. That’s what the ex-chaplain says.  Gays have an “un-human demonic spirit” in them.

A local resident of Visalia, Sam Lukes, said we have a “diabolically twisted lifestyle” in a recent letter to the editor*.

Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin is ready to toss us in the nearest oven.  The government is not far behind, as the Duma (Russia’s Parliament) has passed into law sweeping edicts that seem to make even talking about homosexuality a crime.  The 2014 Olympics are taking a hit over the crackdown.

We’ve made some impressive progress over the past few decades, and things, at least in the USA and some other progressive western nations, are getting better.

But to listen to some of these nutjobs talk, you’d think Satan himself was walking the Earth in a leather harness and spiked heels.  As they describe what it is to be gay, I’m looking at myself and thinking…

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A Day in LGBT America – The Advocate

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Advocate_day_in

The Advocate asked for submissions for a piece on “A Day in LGBT America”, so I sent one in. They chose it as one of those posted on the web.  It brings up the end of the day, since I took it at 10:48 pm.

Advocate_day_in_jim

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