LGBTQ

Traditionally, the Reel Pride Film Festival draws thousands to Fresno’s Tower District for one of the nation’s biggest celebrations of LGBTQ cinema. But in response to COVID-19 restrictions, organizers have turned this year's festival, which takes place this weekend, into an online event. To learn more about what audiences can expect, Valley Edition Host Kathleen Schock spoke with the festival director and board president Kathleen Arambula-Reyna.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Local recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, react to the Supreme Court decision protecting their status to live and work in the United States. 

We also speak with writer Nick Belardes. He wrote an essay for “Boom California” about Confederate imagery in Bakersfield which he hopes sparks a discussion around street and school names, including one called Plantation Elementary. 

And we get an update on the COVID-19 outbreak at Avenal State Prison. 

Robin McGehee

The United States Supreme Court delivered a landmark decision Monday that protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees from workplace discrimination. To learn more about the fight for LGBTQ job protections, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Robin McGehee. She organized the Meet In The Middle gay-marriage rally in 2009 and founded the nonprofit GetEQUAL. She also teaches communication at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.   

Estevan Parra

June is Pride month, but this year the worldwide event will largely be celebrated virtually in light of COVID-19. To learn more about the impact of the pandemic on the LGBTQ community, FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke to Estavan Parra, the LGBTQ and gender coordinator for the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State.

Fresno Rainbow Pride

On Saturday, February 8, Fresno Rainbow Pride will crown the new Mr., Miss and Mizz Fresno Rainbow Pride 2020 and celebrate the current title holders. The event is a fundraiser for the 30th Annual Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade and Festival. FM89's Kathleen Schock spoke with Fresno Rainbow Pride volunteer coordinator Tracie Cisneros about the event, and the importance of ball culture to the LGBTQ+ community.

Diana Oliva

This year, the Reel Pride Film Festival is celebrating its 30th year in Fresno. It’s the sixth largest and sixth longest running LGBTQ film festival in the country. 

"Year 30 is extremely important because it shows the perseverance and persistence of our community,” said Kathleen Arambula Reyna, the director and board president of Reel Pride.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: September is National Suicide Prevention Month. We bring you the story of one Kern County woman who says helping someone in need could be as simple as asking questions. 

 

We also tell you about the 30th annual Reel Pride Film Festival coming up next week. It’s the sixth-longest-running LGBTQ film festival in the country.

 

And we meet a man whose street photography helps him cope with cancer.

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

In early July, a downtown Fresno non-profit called Common Space teamed up with local health organizations to run a mobile clinic designed specifically for LGBTQ+ individuals – a community that’s at elevated risk for HIV, mental health problems and suicide. Patients could gain access to specialized care such as hormone replacement therapy and training for how to self-administer injections, but providers also offered HIV testing and basic preventive screenings.

When it comes to the 2020 census, why are some San Joaquin Valley communities among the country’s hardest to count? We explore what some advocates are doing to reach those who may have never been counted before.

Volunteers also share how they’re working to improve the quality of life for the 2,600 foster kids in Fresno and Madera Counties.

Plus, we speak with doctors trying to improve health care for the LGBTQ+ community, and we hear from a panel of water leaders about the latest in a statewide attempt to better manage groundwater.

Flickr user ftmeade, Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0

Finding an ally in the doctor’s office can be difficult, especially for those who are transgender, non-gender-binary or who otherwise belong to the LGBT+ community. To combat disparities that can develop in the health care realm, a Fresno organization is hosting a free medical clinic for LGBT+ individuals on Saturday, July 13.

Mikayla Argain

Mikayla Argain squeezes liquid out of a tube of peach-colored foundation onto a makeup sponge and starts brushing it on in front of a small mirror. 

 

“This is what my ritual would be when I get home from a day being 'masculine me' and working to fix the computer issues of the day,” Argain said. 

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Today on our show, stories about identity: how do you be yourself when others assume you’re something else? We talk to a transgender person about what it’s like to work while transitioning. And we hear from athletes who play competitive soccer in wheelchairs. And what’s behind gang violence in Fresno? Can it be curbed with an innovative program?

ACLU of Northern California

Attorneys with the ACLU filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a school district in Madera County, saying it violated two students’ right to free speech and right to anti-LGBTQ bias in California schools.

When Minarets High School students Steven Madrid and Mikayla Garaffa submitted their senior quotes to the yearbook, they thought they were being inclusive. But the yearbook advisor said their quotes were “politically divisive.”

Monica Velez

Over the weekend, LGBTQ advocates rallied in Fresno in response to a leaked memo from the Trump Administration that would narrow the definition of gender.

 

The New York Times broke the story last week. According to the memo, gender would be determined by the genitals people are born with and limited to male and female.

 

Martín Navarez

On Wednesday, the annual Reel pride Film Festival kicks off five days of films from around the world that explore LGBTQ people and issues. One of the films premiering in the festival is about a drag queen known in Fresno drag scene. She’ll share a part of herself not everyone sees on stage. Leilani Price will be featured in the documentary “The Life of Lei: The Man Behind the Makeup.” We spoke with the director, Matthew Broughton, and the queen herself, Leilani, about the film. 

For the record, Valley Public Radio is a community sponsor of the Reel Pride Film Festival. 

Zoyer Zyndel

FM89's series My Valley, My Story features first person accounts from the lives of people throughout the San Joaquin Valley. This week reporter Diana Aguilera brings us the story of transgender activist Zoyer Zyndel. He talks about the struggles he's faced and his hopes for the valley's LGBTQ community. 

"I was assigned female at birth but I live my life as male. and so my sex did not correspond with my gender. Gender is a function of the brain and I've always saw myself in my brain as a male."

Same-sex marriage supporters in the Central Valley are celebrating today after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry nationwide.

Gay and lesbians already have the right to marry in 36 states, including California, and the District of Columbia. But the court’s 5-4 ruling strikes down bans on same sex marriage in 14 states in the south and Midwest.

Jason Scott with Gay Fresno has been advocating in the Central Valley for this ruling for more than 10 years.

California Lawmakers Look At Unequal Access to Health Care

Mar 12, 2015
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California lawmakers spent a large part of Wednesday hearing about ways to make health care equally accessible regardless of race, ability or sexual orientation. As Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento found, policymakers say solutions will start with better information.

Assembly Health Committee Chair Rob Bonta says eyes may glaze over when the conversation turns to data. But developing different methods of collecting data could reveal problems faced by specific groups of people.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

This report is the first in the Valley Public Radio series "Common Threads: Veterans Still Fighting The War.Support for this series comes from Cal Humanities, as part of the War Comes Home initiative. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A group of 18 students from schools across Fresno State were hooded with rainbow banners today in a first for Fresno State:  a lesbian, gay, bi, transgender and questioning graduation ceremony.

“I was really inspired because I noticed a lot of openly gay people, but we didn’t have a ceremony of our own, a reception of our own,” says Curtis Ortega with Fresno State’s United Student Pride Club. “We were kind of there as openly gay students, but I felt we needed our own expression and graduation ceremony.”

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