June 1, 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.
May 24, 2014
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!
April 21, 2014
January 15, 2014
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.
For the complete Visalia set of images, go to Self Evident Truth / Visalia
December 18, 2013
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…