The story can now be told – why it didn’t rain on PrideVisalia 2019

3 Comments

storm_god

Ishkur, Mesopotamian god of storms

Despite a week of weather forecasts predicting rain on Saturday, the day of PrideVisalia 2019 was sunny, clear, and warm. How did that happen? Well, now the story can be told.

The very first PrideVisalia hosted by The Source LGBT+ Center was in June 2017, and the summer gods were out in full force. 105 degrees in the shade (40 for those of you who are on the Celsius thermometer), with relentless solar radiation made for a sweaty and uncomfortable festival. The powers-that-be decided that it’s difficult to be gay (or lesbian, or bi, or trans, or pan, or anything else for that matter) under such conditions, so the festival for 2018 was moved to the end of May. Cooler weather usually prevails, and the festival can be truly festive. It did and it was.

As PrideVisalia 2019 approached, our weather apps began giving us ominous warnings. Thunderstorms, rain, and warm temperatures were threatening to make the festival a muggy, wet, sodden affair. Nerves were on edge, a brave face was put on by organizers, and extra awnings were put on standby.

Why didn’t it rain? I simply asked for a favor.

Yep, I set up a conference call, and got all the gods on one hookup. You wouldn’t believe how difficult that was to arrange! Some of these characters really don’t like each other. Some kept insisting none of the others even existed! I finally appealed to their better natures (for some their vanity, but that’s another story) and got them all on the line.

I managed to snare the major players: Zeus, Ishkur, Tlaloc, Indra, Fryer, Odin (who, like some of the other major players, insisted on being included even though he doesn’t usually handle weather himself), and Tempestas (who you would think from her name wouldn’t be a easy sell, but she was a joy to talk with). Some native American weather spirits joined in, especially those of the local tribes here in the valley, and of course Allah and Yahweh. (I tried to get Lucifer on the call, just to keep some balance, but he was unavailable. Apparently he’s on vacation. In Los Angeles. Odd.)

After some small talk that seemed to last an eternity (God time is very different from human time, it seems) we got down to the issue at hand.

I was prepared for a long, hard fought battle to convince them to hold the rain off for a day, but it was amazingly easy.

Seems the gods are really fond of their LGBTQ+ children, and were eager to grant such a request. They also love a party, and once I described what was going on, they were all on board with very little convincing required. I think the drag queens and the Ballet Folklorico dancers of Mexico Moderno really put it over the top.

I got a bit of flack from Yahweh about my being an atheist and all, but I’m pretty sure he was just ribbing me. (see what I did there?) He, of course, loves all the rainbow gear at Pride. Allah was silent for most of it all, but I’m pretty sure I heard a نعم فعلا from him.

So there you have it. One conference call, some friendly chatting, a bit of ego stroking for the more vain characters, and they all agreed to push the rain to the next day. Sunny and warm, with a slight breeze prevailed for PrideVisalia 2019.

I’m a little concerned what they might require of me as payment for granting my favor. A couple of them were putting on an ominous tone, but I’m pretty sure they were just teasing. Fairly sure. Oh boy… what have I done! Whatever the reality of that is, I’ll deal with it at some future date. A very far-off in the future date. Maybe they’ll forget. One can hope.

Oh, and you’re welcome!

P.S.

PrideVisalia2019_weather

Fair warning: I’m going to do it again

2 Comments

visalia_city_hall

Monday, May 20, 2019, I’ll be giving a short presentation to the Visalia City Council during the public comments section of the meeting.

Hopefully, I won’t have to defend against accusations of child pornography as I did last year!

I’ll be giving an update to the Council on Saturday’s Pride Visalia Festival, our recent expansion, and winning our category in the annual Give OUT Day fundraiser.

Since the city changed the rules after our 2012 and 2013 proclamations naming June LGBT Pride Month in Visalia, I won’t be asking for or receiving anything, but I will take the opportunity to bring the Council up to date on our recent achievements.  Our expansion gives us much needed space, as our (already expanded once) center continues to grow.

There’s a ton of stuff that I’d like to tell the council about, but the comments are limited to three minutes, so I’ll just have to do a quick review of this year, and invite the Council and the public to Pride Visalia 2019.

You can attend the Council meeting at City Hall West, 707 W. Acequia, Visalia. The meeting starts at 7pm. You can also watch on Facebook Live, on the city’s Facebook feed.

 

I went “Over The Edge”!

Leave a comment

0drp-1dv1-14rb1-xa

Today was the day…  I rappelled from the eighth floor of the Visalia Marriott Hotel, in a fundraising drive for The Source LGBT+ Center. Joining dozens of other participants, we raised over $90,500 (and counting), for Tulare and Kings Counties only LGBT center.

More

I go “Over The Edge” Saturday

Leave a comment

Jim_Over_The_Edge

Saturday, November 10, I go “Over The Edge“. I’ll be rappelling down the side of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Visalia as the culmination of my fundraising participation for The Source LGBT+ Center. I’m scheduled for 3 pm, so come on down and join in the festivities as I and a bunch of other folks help support The Source.

There will be a festival on site, along with the rappelling. Come on down between 9 am thru 4 pm and join us as we celebrate 2 1/2 years of community service, and fund our expansion project and our ongoing programs.

There’s still enough time to donate, and you can do that at https://visaliaovertheedge.com/jim-reeves/  Every donation is gratefully received, and there other rappellers you can support, at https://visaliaovertheedge.com/list.cfm

Friday, starting at 4pm, VIP and top earners will lead off the event, with Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Chris Ortiz of the Visalia Police Department, and radio personality April Skye going “Over The Edge”. Feel free to stop by and cheer them on.

The Source LGBT+ Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

I am a former member of the Founding Board of Directors, an Advisory Board member, and volunteer at The Source LGBT+ Center.

LGBT center to serve Tulare & Kings Counties

Leave a comment

thesource_r.jpg

Did you see the article in Saturday’s edition of the Visalia Times Delta? If not, go here and check it out. We’ll wait.

Isn’t that just the greatest news? Here’s their webpage, and here’s their Facebook page. Here’s their fundraising page. Go toss them a few bucks. Or more. We’ll wait again.

Back?  Thanks!  The response to this endeavor from the LGBT and allied community has been astounding. From nearly meeting the initial fundraising goal in just a few weeks, to the outpouring of “likes” on Facebook and the buzz on social media, theSOURCE promises to be a resounding success.

Visalia has long had LGBT groups holding activities.  From an over 20 year ongoing monthly potluck dinner group, gay bowling leagues, softball teams (go Skittles!), the Lavender Ball,  Pride in the Park, Family Fest, the second LGBT Pride Lions group in the USA, the Tuesday Evening Dining Group, gay-straight alliances at local high schools, and COS Pride just to mention a few, Visalia has bucked the trend of most other places in the Central Valley.

There have also been dark times.  Suicides of LGBT youth and adults has been an un- or under-reported fact of life here.  Many young gay people leave the area as soon as they can, some never to return.  In 2001 a gay student at Golden West High School sued the Visalia Unified School District over anti-gay harassment he suffered there.  George Loomis won his case, resulting in new policies and training for Visalia Unified.

The times, as they say, are a’ changin’.

theSOURCE will provide a clearinghouse for resources, information, counseling, medical and mental health services, social activities, and more, all geared to supporting the LGBT and allied community.  Access to medically accurate information for the treatment of STDs, as well as HIV/AIDs, and referrals to practitioners familiar and friendly towards the gay community will be provided.  Information on welcoming and affirming religious organizations will be available.

A new page in Visalia’s LGBT history is about to be turned.  From the heart of Visalia’s downtown (208 W. Main, Suite B in the Montgomery Plaza), theSOURCE will serve the entire community, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, race, religion, physical or mental handicap, age, income level, or any other classification you care to come up with.

At theSOURCE, you don’t have to be out to come in.  You don’t have to be gay, either.

At theSOURCE, you’re welcome.

QueerVisalia.com undergoing upgrades!

Leave a comment

QueerVisalia.com is currently undergoing an upgrade, and will be up and running in it’s new incarnation soon!  The new format allows users to register (free) and upload content themselves.  This will allow for a more reader-driven blogsite, and we look forward to local input!  Check it out!

QueerVisalia.com

 

Family Fest at Mooney Grove

Leave a comment

I’m out in the sunshine, here at Mooney Grove, at Gay Visalia’s Family Fest. A good turnout, lots of young people, and folks with their kids.

%d bloggers like this: