$10 adults Children (Ages 5-16) $5.00. Children 4 and under are free. Cash or Card accepted, upon arrival.
If you need financial assistance, please contact LGBT Fresno.
SIX HUNDRED THOUS-AND YOU.
The Bulldog Pride Fund was established in 2005 with two $50 donations, and officially recognized by the Fresno State Alumni Association in 2006.
As of June 30, 2021, total donations to the BPF have surpassed $600,000! Overall, the BPF endowment has provided 86 scholarships valued at $165,000.
Thank you, donors, for your support of and investment in students attending Fresno State. We appreciate you.
BONUS INTRA. MELIOR EXI.
After having to cancel the 40 th Anniversary of Kampout last year due to COVID, the Kampout Committee has begun preparations for the celebration of 40 years in the pines. Kampout 2021, A Hike Down Memory Trail, will be held the weekend after Labor Day, September 10 through 12 at our site across the road from Texas Flat Campground.
The theme this year is your favorite theme…and there are a lot to choose from. From the Stone Age to the 60s, from under the sea to outer space, Kampout has gone to the movies, Vegas, the wild west…just about everywhere and everything has been covered…and we’d love to see your favorite on display.
The cost for the weekend is still just $40. Kampers who arrive early will be subject to a $10 a day per person charge. The cost of admission covers your kampsite, 2 beer busts, the Progressive Kocktail Party, 2 breakfasts, Saturday dinner and
much, much more. You can relax by the creek or join in all the fun and games and compete for prizes. There’s the Yacht Regatta, Needle in the Haystack, and the always popular and hilarious Kamptown Races. Don’t forget the Kampstravaganza Show on Saturday night where you can compete for the titles of Kamp King and Kamp Kween. We encourage everyone to participate in this fun show.
Camping in the Sierras can cost around $30 a night, just for a place to pitch your tent. At $40 for the whole weekend, Kampout is the best bargain for your entertainment buck. This year, in accordance with government guidelines, proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test dated 3 days prior to arrival will be required. There will be no exceptions to this.
The health and safety of our kampers is #1 priority.
So, mark your calendars...celebrate our anniversary…we hope to see you all.
For more information, see our website at www.kampoutfresno.com
You can also visit our Facebook page and join our event.
Last year I reached 65 years of age. I have been wondering for a while now what that means to me, how I truly feel inside and what lies ahead. I struggled in my youth with being gay and fought valiantly to act straight and fit in. But was I really kidding my family and friends? I did nothing overtly “straight” like play sports and date girls, but I also did not do the stereotypical “gay” things either. I was not in drama club or worked on artsy projects or sang in a school chorus. I was just kind of existing. I had friends who were school athletes, and we would do the usual high school shenanigans with alcohol and weed and sometimes stronger drugs. But all the time I would secretly pine away for the leader of the pack. After high school I did not go to college and drifted and wore a mask until I found a steady job, moved away from my hometown and began an ordinary existence. Work, weekends, friends, drinking, hiding my true self and then back to work on Monday. There is no doubt it wasn’t all bad and I had some fun times, but the drinking got out of hand, and I knew inside I was trying my darndest to appear straight and not fooling anyone, though no one asked me if I was gay. Along the way I had a tryst with an equally confused guy, and I turned on him with all my internalized homophobia.
Years turned into decades, jobs came and went. I gingerly came out of the closet in my late 30’s and met a man who I dearly love and have married. I no longer hide my gayness, but life is still ordinary, and I wonder where I fit in? Do not get me wrong, life is good, and my husband and I enjoy our jobs and our adventures and our orange dog, Cali. But I often wonder where in the gay community do I fit in, where do I find family?
I like to follow the festive gatherings of the radical faeries and dream of going to one myself. But, really, at 65, would I now don feathers and boas and dresses? Would I need to? But if I didn’t, would I be shunned? The bar scene is loud and probably filled with buff young men dancing shirtless. My husband and I would stick out like a couple of overweight old queens. I am self-conscious enough as it is. Well, what about the bears? I could probably pass in the bear scene. I wear a beard; I am heavy set and love Levi jeans and flannel shirts.
I think I like being ordinary and I like being at home with my husband and dog. I realize as I write that I am stereotyping the gay cultures I mentioned. I mean no disrespect and I love that they exist and watch from the outside wishing I belonged. When I go to pride events, I love the colors and diversity that dances and swirls all around me. Dykes on bikes, bears, faeries, trans folk, ordinary queers like me, all of us are one and absolutely no one will take that away from us. In the end though, I struggle with where do I fit in? Where is my adopted family? My biological one is distant to say the least. At the age of 65 I find that there is much that doesn’t matter to me anymore. I don’t follow fashion trends and I wear jeans or cargo shorts and t shirts most of the time. I love my tattoos and large gauged ear piercings. To me they are symbols of my personality. They represent a spirit, a celebration of who I am and what I enjoy. In cooler weather I like to wear a vest with a sparkling brooch pinned on it. I don’t care what other people think because this is what I like and compared to the rest of my biological family it is most certainly not ordinary! So maybe, in the entire spectrum of gay culture, I am making my own statement about who I am. I know my family is out there. I’m 65 years old and loving my life.
Today, LGBT Fresno announced free transportation to LGBT+ individuals in need. This program was launched in an effort to help address the epidemic of violence against the LGBT+ community.
Our goal is simple — provide reliable and immediate access to transportation for LGBT+ people, a community that has been disproportionately impacted by discrimination, stigma and violence. At the end of the day, this initiative aims to save lives.
This initative is sponsored by Hedrick's Chevrolet.
On a monthly basis, Hedrick's Chevrolet will provide funding for rides. If those funds are exhausted, LGBT Fresno will fund rides with a set monthly amount of earmarked funds.
"We thank Hedrick's Chevrolet for their support in funding the carrying our community members to events and their essential appointments." Jason Scott, Executive Director of LGBT Community Network / LGBT Fresno.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating, please submit a request online.
To help fund this program, please donate online.
More than 1,000 LGBTQ-friendly books are on their way to Fresno Unified schools, thanks to a recent donation.
The 1,040 books donated by Gender Nation — a nonprofit that helps schools obtain age-appropriate LGBTQ stories — are primarily children’s fiction featuring LGBTQ protagonists and other characters in stories like “Julián Is a Mermaid.” The donation also includes non-fiction titles like “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag.”
The books will be distributed at 65 Fresno Unified schools.
“Fresno Unified believes that all schools should be safe, supportive, and inclusive places where students, families, and staff feel accepted, respected, and welcome,” an FUSD statement said.
According to Gender Nation co-founders Keiko Feldman and Morgan Walsh, Fresno Unified officials sought out the donation.
Fear Street: 1995 is the first installment to a three-part trilogy. It includes some popular names such as Maya Hawk of the popular Netflix show Stranger Things, Kiana Madeira of Netflix’s Trinkets, as well as Benjamin Flores Jr. from the Nickelodeon show The Haunted Hathaways. Right off the bat, the Film began with an eerie vibe as teen Heather Watkins (portrayed by Maya Hawk) closes up shop at the mall she works at. After this scene it is a little while before we see anymore action as one of our main characters, Deena Johnson (Kiana Madeira) struggles with giving a box back to her ex-girlfriend, Sam since the two of them are broken up.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t come for the sapphic main characters, but I did in fact stay for the creepy factor the movie gave off incredibly well. In my opinion, it was a great mix of scary and romance, there is even a steamy scene hidden in the movie—but don’t worry, no spoilers here! The movie did have a bit of gore in it so beware of those that aren’t comfortable with that sort of thing. There is one thing the writers did really well on was making us believe everything was okay in the end and then switching it on us at the last minute. It made me sad for them because I thought the beloved, and fearless main characters had made it out safely but that was definitely not the case. I am excited to see the next part of the trilogy that comes out July 9, 2021. So, to wrap the review up, if you love horror movies that include lesbians, century old witches and curses, with a hint of gore and romance here and there then I think this film would be the perfect one to watch—not to mention the actors themselves giving us a wonderful performance.
Give it a watch! You won’t regret it.
We've missed you! Vaccinations are up, people are getting back out and so are we...
The website is getting a facelift and we hope you'll love it. Our events are returning in the coming weeks, as well.
Why not join us?! We're looking for volunteers in several areas. Check out the list, we are sure you'll find something that interests you.
Less than 24 hours after our message urging you to contact Mayor Dyer, he has reversed course and will allow for the rainbow flag to be raised at Fresno City Hall on June 11th. We encourage you to attend the event.
We commend this decision and thank you for taking the time to reach out and share your opinions with his office and the entire city council.
“Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer has spent the past days listening to the community and their feelings about raising the Pride flag at Fresno City Hall. He has also received hundreds of phone calls, emails and letters from Fresno residents who are passionate about the issue,” a city news release said. “After much contemplation and conversation with the community, along with local leaders, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, the mayor feels compelled to do more beyond Unity Park.
This Pride Month, we are participating in Give OUT Day, a month-long fundraising campaign culminating on June 30, the only national day of giving for the LGBTQ community. LGBT Fresno (under LGBT Community Network) is $5,000 to fund outreach and new services in some of the Central Valley's most vulnerable communities.
Give OUT Day is June 30, but our campaign starts today. Why? Because every donation made on our Give OUT Day page, from today through midnight on June 30, counts toward Leaderboard prizes. This means that your donation could help us win thousands in additional prize money! Put simply, your gift can go so much further.
Give OUT Day offers so much hope, but only if we have your support. Will you show your pride by making a gift?
P.S. Want to take your support to the next level? It’s not too late to create a fundraiser page! Just visit LGBT Community Network's page and click “fundraise” to get started! It only takes a couple minutes and has a huge impact.
On Thursday, May 28th councilmembers voted five to two to transfer the power of who gets to decide what flags fly outside of City Hall. Dyer openly opposed a resolution passed by the Fresno City Council that would allow local organizations to fly flags at Fresno City Hall.
The LGBTQ+ flag was set to fly over Fresno's City hall during a ceremony on June 11th at 10am.
Today, Dyer announced a proposal for a designated free-speech area in downtown Fresno instead of the Flag Raising Resolution passed by the city council, last week.
Instead of flying a flag outside of City Hall, Dyer suggested seven flag poles be installed at Eaton Plaza near Mariposa and N Streets. Dyer said he will allow all flags, including religious flags, to be raised.
Write the Mayor and City Council members! Thank those who stood with us. But, encourage those who didn't, to be on the right side of history.
Tell them our community deserves to be treated equally.
LGBT Fresno will participate in Give OUT Day, the only national day of giving for the LGBTQ community. The 24-hour online fundraising event brings together the LGBTQ communities and their allies across the United States. Give OUT Day 2020 takes place on June 30, 2020, from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm Eastern. Last year, Give OUT Day raised nearly $1 million to support LGBTQ nonprofits.
The marathon event, which began in 2013, sees thousands of people making gifts to support a diverse cross-section of LGBTQ nonprofits across the country, leveraging social media for support and outreach. The technology platform is provided for free and hundreds of nonprofits have leveraged it to attract new donors, motivate their boards and other supporters, and raise their visibility.
OR make your donation now, it all counts!
Last year we were #2 in our category and received a $1,500 prize!
Let's hit #1 this year!
The LGBT Fresno fireworks stand reopens July 1st to July 4th and our volunteer need is extremely dire, especially July 4th. If you are able to join us for one (or more) of our shifts, from: 9:00am-1:30pm, 1:30pm-6pm or 6pm-10:30pm (or any combination) please use this signup form or email/text/call. You can also see the facebook event for more details and the booth location.
Your safety is important to us! Safety measures implemented:
Facial masks will be provided (and are required to be worn at all times).
Facial shields will be provided for volunteers who are interacting with customers.
Hand sanitizer available.
Social distancing will be implemented, as much as possible.
FAX & Clovis Stageline stops close by. Uber rides available to those without transportation.
I know that many of you are wondering about Kampout this year in the midst of the COVID pandemic. The Kampout Committee has been closely monitoring the situation since our main priority is keeping you safe and healthy.
Sadly, we have to announce that Kampout 2020 has been cancelled. Due to Forest Service orders, campgrounds are closed, and the state and county are restricting gatherings to less than 50 people.
We want you all to know that we are ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Kampout next year…and we hope to see you all there, happy and healthy.
Greetings from your local Fresno County Public Library,
We miss seeing the LGBTQ community and their allies at our events during this pandemic crisis. As we celebrate PRIDE month, you all are on our mind. We know that our world has been turned upside down, but we want to share with you they your library is still here. Until we can greet you face to face again, we still have many other ways that we can serve you during these times.
Many of you are tasked with learning new technology or job skills while practicing social distancing.
Some of us are working remotely; many more are seeking employment. Free access to the database LYNDA is a perfect opportunity to sharpen your skills or learn something entirely new.
Lynda is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.
Courses offered in LYNDA range from Photoshop and Adobe, to web development and marketing. You’ll find many different courses in one convenient platform. Track your progress, create playlists, and more! We’ve helped numerous people benefit from these training options, and hope you will find this helpful as well.
If you’d like to explore our online resources, or you simply desire a book in hand, our vast database can be found on our website; fresnolibrary.org. In addition, walk-up, curbside checkout, mobile printing and other select services are available. Hours of service and options vary from branch to branch, please call your local branch to find out hours and services before you go.
Our databases of online resources are free to use, but they do require having a library card number. A few even require being inside the library to be able to use it. If you don’t have a library card at this time, please call your local branch or call our main number (559) 600-7323 (READ) to have a card made for you over the phone. Details on how to acquire these and more can be found on our website:
Feel free to call your local branch with any needs or questions as well. We miss you, and thanks for continuing to be our patrons during this difficult time.
Stay safe and we hope to see you soon!
A year without Pride is absolutely unthinkable! Even COVID-19 can not stop the outpouring of love and celebration that Pride season brings out in us. Your favorite pride celebration may have been cancelled, but there are plenty of virtual events still planned for this Pride season.
Chances are, if there is an event you have always wanted to join, there is a virtual event that is in the planning stages by that organization. Look at the websites, social media pages or give that organization a call to find out what is in the works for a virtual event. If you are not able to attend an event but you want to support an organization, please consider donating funds.
Whatever you can contribute helps to support the long-term sustainability of organizations, making sure that they are able to continue their mission through this pandemic and afterwards.
GlobalPride2020 is an organization that was launched on April 1 st of this year in order to help ensure that everyone, everywhere gets to celebrate diversity and equality and take part in Pride events. The organization representing the U.S. is InterPride, a major force in increasing the visibility of the LGBTI+ community and awareness about pride. InterPride has maintained a living document of pride events since at least 2012, aptly named PrideRadar, available through their website.
Fresno Rainbow Pride will be having their Quarantine Edition pride event on Saturday, June 6th, from 12pm to 3pm, streamed live on Twitch.
New York City is commemorating its 50 th year of Pride marches, so you better believe they are going to have an over-the-top celebration that, thankfully, will be accessible to us in the central valley via technology.
Don’t give up hope on being able to attend a Pride event in person this year. Once the stay at home orders get released, there will be plenty to celebrate! Physical spaces may look different from years past, but the community connection and love that we share surpasses any mask, plastic barrier or social distance.
There are Pride events that were scheduled for this spring and early summer that have rescheduled to later this year and there are events that are regularly scheduled during the fall that are still considering going on as scheduled, albeit with precautions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The first Pride of the Americas, celebrating Pride from all of the different cultures and communities in Alaska all the way down to Argentina, was scheduled to be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this April, but has been rescheduled to Fall 2020. Plans for this incredible inaugural international festival include a 5k run, beach parties, a runway fashion show, conferences, symposiums, an award banquet, and of course a parade and fireworks!
Provincetown, MA, holds their Family Week and Carnival in each August. The Las Vegas Pride Parade, which ends on Fremont Street, takes place each October. Closer to home, here in California, there are many, many Pride events that are held later in the year. Laguna Beach has a Pride parade in August. San Jose and Silicon Valley have Pride events in August.
Chula Vista, Los Angeles and Pasadena all have their own Pride events in September. Halloween is not that far away and there are fun Pride events then: West Hollywood and Los Angeles have Halloween Carnival on October 31 st . Out@Magic Mountain and Gay Days @Disneyland are also planned for the fall months. These are just some of the many great opportunities to connect with others and share your pride that are still tentatively planned to take place over the remainder of this year.
Remember: You are not alone! You are part of a community! Stay hopeful!
Connect! Be safe! And stay strong!
All of us at LGBT Fresno miss seeing, interacting and supporting you during this challenging time.
We will resume support and social services just as soon as it is safe to do so. We are still for you via social media, email and text/phone.
Several resources we hope you will utilize until physical distancing is over are:
Our Friends at Fresno EOC Sanctuary LGBTQ Resource Center are providing daily virtual meetings:
12pm to 1pm - 18 and older. 2pm to 3pm - 17 and under. 4pm to 5pm - 18 and older. 5:30pm to 6:30pm - 17 and under. 7pm to 8pm - AA meeting
-Download the Zoom app (it's FREE!) on your phone or computer
-Enter the meeting code located on the flyer or here: 937 458 8733 (AA meeting only code is 284 131 529)
-Familiarize yourself with the platform before hopping on the call, specifically where the mute button is located
-You do NOT have to share your video if you don't want to
It has been nearly three weeks since the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) was confirmed in Fresno. Even with the shelter-in-place order in effect, the number of confirmed cases are rising. As of March 30, 2020, the Fresno County Department of Public Health has confirmed 53 positive cases (Galaviz, 2020). Health officials anticipate the number to keep rising and urge Fresno residents to stay inside to stop the spread. Although there is concern for the general public’s health, many officials are urging more attention to those in the community who are more susceptible to contracting the virus. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) those considered to be at high risk for contracting COVID-19 include:
An article by the National LGBT Cancer Network addressed LGBTQ+ people’s concern for being at higher risk for COVID-19. According to medical professionals, LGBTQ+ people who are at higher risk are those who use tobacco, are HIV positive, and who have cancer. They explain that members of the community “use tobacco at rates that are 50% higher than the general population” and have “higher rates of HIV and cancer” (Dizon and Jesdale, 2020). These factors leave an individual more vulnerable to the virus. The article also mentions that LGBTQ+ people experience health disparities that affect the impact that COVID-19 has on those members in the community (Dizon and Jesdale, 2020). Health disparities is defined as the difficulty that certain groups experience in having access to health care and high quality of care because of their race, socioeconomic status, age, sexual orientation or gender identity (Healthy People, 2020). This definition reflects the hesitancy people in the LGBTQ+ community may have in utilizing health programs or receiving medical care for fear of being harassed or discriminated against. It is an important factor that people should consider in their efforts to ensure the health and wellbeing of every individual during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important now than ever, for all people to take the precautions to protect their health. It is of equal importance to consider the health of others, especially those who are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. According to the CDC, individuals should clean hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, practice social distancing of at least six feet, and to constantly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces to avoid the spread of the virus (CDC, 2020). If you develop a fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, contact your doctor immediately and avoid contact with others.
Stay informed about COVID-19 in Fresno and the Central Valley by visiting Fresno Bee for updates.
Peer to Peer 21+ Support Group
First Saturdays of each month, 4PM - 6PM
Free, Monthly, No RSVP Required
Location: Fresno Spectrum Center, 2817 N. Blackstone Ave. Fresno, CA. 93703
LGBT Fresno's Peer to Peer Support Group is a nonjudgmental support group for all LGBTQ community members. The group welcomes people of all genders, including cisgender, transgender, gender non-conforming, androgynous, genderqueer, and other gender identities.
The group seeks to build a stronger community and to increase the visibility and support of all who fall under the LGBTQ umbrella. Closeted or out, monogamous or polyamorous, all are welcome to join as long as other members of the group are treated with respect and compassion. The ultimate goal of the group is to help foster a warm, supportive community of friends.
Most of us hope, in whatever small way, we will have contributed to a better world by the time we leave it. Before Fresno resident and human rights activist Todd N. Nelson passed away, he decided to leave a legacy for the causes he cared about most. At a time when the burden of illness would consume many, Todd was considering how he could improve life for others.
Four years ago, after his father died in 2016, Todd realized his home and his health were deteriorating. He reached out for help from his aunt Joyce Rosenwald and her partner Jan Bateman who live in Corvallis, Oregon. The couple helped to arrange health care and assure Todd's home was livable.
They provided him with emotional support and acceptance through his most challenging moments, then agreed to guide him through the process of creating a will and trust. Todd became interested in establishing a trust that would include donations to the organizations he valued. Due to his disabilities, Todd had been on a fixed income for most of his life, limiting the funds he could offer charities. However, after his father passed away, he was left with an inheritance to share.
Todd's desire to leave a legacy became more urgent as his health declined. On March 27, 2017, with the assistance of an attorney, Todd established a trust that would allocate 10 percent of his estate to the LGBT Community Network (the non profit that encompasses LGBT Fresno) and 10 percent to the Human Rights Campaign. This unexpected, comparatively large donation came from an individual who grew up with many challenges.
A life-long resident of Fresno, Todd was born in 1968. From birth, he was profoundly hard-of-hearing. He was adopted as a one-year-old by Roger and Joni (Joyce's sister) Nelson. His parents divorced, and his mother died when he was 14. Todd struggled with recurrent depression and social isolation throughout his life. In early adulthood, a diabetes diagnosis became an increasingly severe problem.
Joyce remembers Todd as a "sweet, shy child." She believes that his sexual orientation presented further obstacles to his connections with others. Coming out and engaging in LGBT causes was a gradual process for Todd. The internet became a welcome tool, allowing him to learn about and connect with human rights issues.
Eventually, he reached a point where he was comfortable with his identity and wanted others to be as well. "He wasn't very public, to begin with," Joyce stated, "but more recently, he was proud of being gay." Given Todd's limited connections with LGBT people, Joyce and Jan were undeniably beacons of courage for him. He could count on them to look out for him as they looked out for themselves.
Joyce and Jan met while both were teachers in Albany, Oregon. They became casual friends and often participated in the same community softball and teachers' bowling leagues. One day they realized that they had found soul mates in each other. In May 2014, after three decades together, Joyce and Jan were legally married on Kauai in a small family ceremony. Why did it take so long?
Laughing, Joyce recalled, "Jan kept asking 'Will you marry me' and I always responded, 'Why ruin a good thing.'" Oregon legalized same-sex marriage that month, so their timing was impeccable. The two are enjoying their home, retirement, traveling, attending sports events, and a relationship that has not been ruined by their marriage.
They are also missing their nephew. Todd passed away on March 4, 2019. He was buried at the Chapel of the Light in Fresno, where both of his parents are interred. Todd requested this as his final resting place so the family would be, in his words, "together again." He is buried in the rose garden next to his dad. "We are missing Todd, but we don't miss his suffering. The last three years were very hard for him," Jan said.
While reflecting on this time in Todd's and their lives, Joyce and Jan said they would be eternally grateful for the kindness, generosity, and expertise of countless Fresno residents. The couple explained that caregiver Brandon Stephens, lifelong friend Nancy Richardson, realtor Carmela Nyberg, and attorneys Ruth Lind and Stefanie Krause, provided incredible support.
The legacy donation provided comfort, as well. Todd felt pride in knowing that part of his estate would continue to ensure others might not have to wait a lifetime to feel a sense of hope. "I think he would like to be remembered as a gay man supportive of all gay rights," said Joyce. Jan added, "He was very concerned about human rights. He just felt that rights were rights, and all people should be taken care of."
Any donations offered in Todd's memory should be made to LGBT Community Network and the Human Rights Campaign.
We're in the midst of unprecedented disruption, and there's no guarantee that we'll make it to the next century or even mid-century. Institutions are more fragile than we had hoped. The news cycle is a batshit 24-hour cycle of gaslighting by the president and far-right government. Objective facts and reality are questioned to the point of tragic parody.
And yet, I'm hopeful for the future.
I can't explain it, especially at a time when we appear to be going backward at breakneck speed. That hope compelled me to move across the country. It pushes me to keep going, to keep fighting. In other words — it drives me forward on a daily basis. I refuse to let it die, no matter what overpaid pundits or prophets of doom may say.
Of course, I could cite the statistics that show how we're better off now than we've ever been à la Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now. I could mention the fact that this era of instability and transition presents a golden opportunity for transformative change, or that renewable energy's proliferation and global climate ambitions increase by the year, making the worst-case climate scenario less likely as time goes on.
But that's not why I have hope. It isn't really a numbers thing. I've thought a lot about this since Trump won and my sense of optimism was shaken to the core. In one night, much of what I thought I knew about our progress as a country crashed like a house of cards. I felt numb. I, along with millions of others, was terrified of what a Trump presidency actually meant. I basically had a mini-nervous breakdown in the shower the next morning and continued to feel like a zombie for several days. To this day, thinking about November 8, 2016 almost feels like I'm reliving a trauma.
Why do I keep the faith alive? What's the use? Maybe I really am naive or delusional, and maybe the jaded-asshole process is still ahead. Maybe it's because I grew up with a belief that I had a duty to live for a purpose bigger than myself. Even though I'm no longer religious, that framework still largely stands. Whatever it is, I keep coming back to the fact that I have an unshakable belief in the human spirit. I know — it sounds ridiculous and corny. But it's true.
Despite the chaos of current events and our collective existential dread for what lies ahead, I won't stop believing—fighting—for a future that I know we can reach. We've defied the odds since our species emerged from Africa 200,000 years ago, and we always seem to come through fires more resilient than before.
We're all part of a story that transcends each of us. Progress is a continuous, generational struggle, one with frequent setbacks. It's maddening when it happens and easy (even natural) to feel like it's all been in vain. It isn't until we step back and see the 30,000-ft. view that we realize how far we've come. My own compulsion to explore boundaries and connect to consciousness is innate in all of us. I know it is.
No matter what 2020 has in store, the beat goes on.
In June 2015 The Supreme Court of the United States declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.
The legalization of gay marriage granted over 1100 statutory provisions to same-sex couples, many of them granting rights and privileges previously only afforded to heterosexual couples.
However, the law didn't just benefit same-sex couples who want to get married, it also had a dramatic affect on LGBT youth.
The study was conducted with over 26,000 LGBT youth participants in the 32 states where gay marriage was legalized up through the 2015 Supreme Court decision. The study found that suicide attempt rates dropped 7% among all students and 14% among gay kids after same-sex marriage was legalized in each state.
Ellen shocked Fresno State University student Travis Morris, who recently went viral with a video of him enthusiastically playing the cymbals in his marching band. Travis talked about how he began playing the instrument, and Ellen gave him a much-needed gift.