e-Bakery has Cinnamon Rolls 4 Sale
- Created: Monday, 18 March 2013 20:56
- Written by Melissa Ballard
Come join us March 27th at the Old Courthouse on Douty St. across from Superior Dairy for a peaceful candle light vigil. Bring your candle, posters and family & friends with you as we stand united for equality on the final evening of the Prop 8 and DOMA hearings.
There are lots of ways to meet people, have fun, enjoy the community, and play! Starting in March, the first Saturday of each month we are officially claiming to be...
What is this you ask? It is just our way to get out and do something as a community. You don't need to be experienced, in fact we hope to try some activities and events that maybe no one has tried before and we are going to try (emphasis on TRY) to make it free or as affordable as possible. Have some suggestions? Let us know!
"Where My Pitches At?"
Gay Hanford Co-Ed Softball Team
Spring season Schedule available under the Calendar link.
Action Paced Read
Listen to Her Heart starts off running and doesn't slow down! The story actually begins after Yalen Martinez has been swindled in an on-line dating scheme by a woman working with the mob and her plan on how to get retribution kept me turning the page right away. I mean who wants to go on-line to possibly find there mate and instead end up feeling used and tricked out of thousands of dollars? In Yalen's quest for revenge the reader is introduced to some wonderful characters that will have you guessing as to which side of the good/bad fence they are sitting! The adventure begins when she travels to Tennessee and picks up the unlikely companion of Briana Latham, the woman's who profile was used to pull off the scam. The meeting with Briana immediately has Yalen off balance and taking actions she wouldn't normally take. Including having Briana travel with her to England where Yalen has tracked the nerve center of the dating scam to be located. Did I mention that Briana is an ex-Victoria Secret model? Overall, Trin Denise creates some very colorful characters and some faced paced action that kept me engaged until the last page. The fact that the story is actually based on true events is a bit disconcerting but it just adds to the level of story movement. I would definitely recommend this story for anyone looking for an action packed plot with great character chemistry.
Trin Denis' "Listen To Her Heart" can be purchased at her website http://www.trindenise.com/lesbian-romance-novels.php starting at $3.99 for an e-book.
We are please to announce that Gay Hanford now has a co-ed Softball team! We are calling all fans of Softball to come out and take a look at Kings County's LGBTQ & Allies Softball team, Where's My Pitches At?, step up to the plate and play their first season starting the week of April 8th. Come out, eat hot dogs and cheer until you loose your voice! This team is practicing hard every week and they are eager to represent our community on the ball field.
Hope to see you there!!
With the price of gas seeming to rise every time I head to the pump, I have decided to take the bus between Hanford and Visalia twice weekly. It was a daunting adventure at first- finding the right pick-up spot, making sure my alarm clock was set with enough time for me to get there, knowing where the bus is going to drop me off and how long I will need to wait to get picked up, and of course figuring out what the bus etiquette is.
From someone who loves lines, not standing in them, but the structure and fairness they provide, I was a bit appalled at how a bus is boarded. Upon arriving at a bus stop there are of course people milling about, listening to their personal music, reading books, some staring off into space, but mostly pretending like they are not standing at a bus stop. That all changes when the bus arrives! These seemingly nice, complacent people, push, shove, and glare in order to get onto the bus. Of course there is no line just a mass of people moving toward the door causing the ultimate bottleneck. It’s quite intimidating and one must relinquish their personal space if they hope to make it safely into the confines of the bus. It is that moment when I started considering how much gas my car had in it, if it could take me safely to my destination- gas prices be damned! However, I persevered and soon found myself onboard.
Did I mention checking any personal space at the door, because a bus is not conducive to relaxing, stretching out the legs, having plenty of arm room, or any padding on the backside in any manner? If the airlines really wanted to get mean, they could put the seats from the bus onto their planes, and then people would have something to truly complain about! But I digress, because I was one of the lucky few who found myself planted onto a hard plastic seat, bouncing down the corner and playing jello with my seat mate as the driver swung us precariously around corners. What a way to start the morning, was a constant thought flowing through my head.
And then it changed. As I sat staring, while trying not to stare, at the people who were riding with me I saw things that I have missed lately in society. People were bears coming through the doors of the bus, but once on board the attitude changed. It was as if each of us knew we were a microcosm of a community and the better our attitudes the better life would be for the next 40 minutes as we trucked along 198. So this is what I learned while riding the bus:
1. You don’t get a personal bubble while onboard, but people really didn’t seem to mind the human contact. I’m not talking groping or inappropriate actions- those I think would have had dire consequences, but as one young man lost his battle with keeping his eyes open and eventually slumped onto the shoulder of the woman seated next to him, she simply adjusted her book to the other hand and kept on reading.
2. People are still courteous. It may not seem like that while you are sitting in a traffic jam and the third car in a row won’t let you change lanes even though you have considerately put on your blinker. When an older woman in a foot brace and lugging a huge piece of luggage got onboard, a seat was vacated for her so she had a place to sit. Sure another had to suffer through the discomfort of standing, but it was just the right thing to do.
3. People make the best of the situation they are in. When that same woman lugged that huge piece of luggage through the doors, several people on the bench seat worked together to stow it beneath their seats, out of the aisle and away from others feet. (Foot space is a luxury!!) It wasn’t ideal to push and shove the luggage around, but it did make the most of the space available for everyone.
4. Pay it forward, I am sure, was invented for bus riders. A woman and her son were trying to get on the bus for the return trip to Hanford. They were $.50 short. The bus driver was not able to adjust the fair after it was started, but that didn’t stop a man from walking from the back of the bus to give her the two quarters she needed. Not a huge sacrifice for most people, but when you are feeling stranded towing a young child around, simple kindness like that, I’m sure is an amazing gift.
5. Everyone makes an effort to go out of their way. On the same return trip, our bus driver received some garbled message on the radio and at the next red light we detoured off our route. She pulled up to a bus stop bench in front of an empty lot and looked around. She then turned to the riders and asked if anyone saw an older man with a cane making his way to the stop or around the stop. At first we were, or at least I was, a little annoyed at having to take time out of my precious day for a wrong turn by the driver, but when we realized that it was to try to rescue someone from possibly being stranded 30 some miles from Hanford, we all started looking. I mean how much would it suck if you missed the last bus back to Hanford and had no other means of transportation to get you home? We never did find him, but the effort was there, not only by the riders but the driver and the dispatch as well.
Just some simple things that occasionally get overlooked in life. I decided I did enjoy riding the bus and seeing a sampling of our community be nice to each other. In the end, if we aren’t nice to each other then it is just going to make for a super long ride until the next stop.
What does that mean to you?
Most people end the year with a recap of what they accomplished, remembering some interesting event or something memorable to make the whole year a fond memory, then start off the New Year with resolutions and goals for the next 365 days. Well here at Gay Hanford we are no different, SO... let's see what happened with Gay Hanford and what some of our resolutions for 2013 will be!
1. We have 278 likes on our FaceBook page! Are you one of them?
2. We had four summer Monthly Get-togethers free of cost and a great way for our community to come together for some fun and sunshine!
3. We went and saw a Roller Derby match! Wowser! That is a tough sport!
5. There was a Poker/Movie Night for some Friday night action.
6. An untold number of people caravaned over to Visalia for the Skittles softball games (check out the resolutions for follow-up on this one!)
7. There was a pool party in some incredibly cold water but the barbequed chicken was amazing!
8. There were some celebrity appearances by Melissa and Cammy at Visalia's Family Fest!
9. There was a funny contest with the winners receiving two tickets to the Hunter Valentine!
10. We made a commitment to get this party started!
THIS YEAR!! (drum roll please)
1. We will have a Hanford Skittles softball team! Registration is coming up so let us know you are interested!
2. We will start having Sunday morning Starbucks because its just too darn cold to meet in the park right now! Brrrrr!
3. We will find someone who will be willing to write movie reviews for the website. If that is YOU don't be shy! Let us know!
4. A monthly book club will be starting in March. Want it sooner? Let us know what book you are reading!
5. We will make a community in Hanford for all LGBTQ family to feel comfortable, supported, and appreciated!
Make Gay Hanford part of your New Year's resolution and let's all have some fun!!
It gets better. That’s what all the videos from celebrities and a myriad of other people from different professions across the globe are telling our gay youth. “It gets better.” My question is probably the same as every kid out there who sees these video messages: Does it? Really?
Don’t get me wrong here — I think it’s amazing that so many people from all walks of life, both famous and non-famous, are rallying around the gay youth of our nation. But words can only do so much. It’s similar to trying to tell someone who has just gone through a painful loss that everything will be okay. They’re just words.
Saying “I know how you feel” has an artificial ring to it that someone in pain can sense a mile away. Sure we can identify with the struggle against bullies and the uphill climb to become who we truly are, but just like the details of a death in the family or an excruciating break-up, every situation is different.
How can a gay kid from Dogpatch, U.S.A. Feel that a celebrity ensconced in a Bel-Air mansion can possibly know the pain and the isolation of being the only gay person in a hundredmile stretch of corn and ignorance? What these young people need is a physical manifestation of what they can become, but the problem is that it may not exist. And if it does, the person who may be able to help them is still hiding in the closet afraid of what might become of them if they step into the light and tell the world who they really are.
Bullies like to use strength or power to intimidate those who are weaker. And when you hide your head in shame it makes you weak. If you want to show our gay youth that it gets better you need to make sure the world knows who you are and who you love.
Be an example to someone who may have no one to turn to in their time of need. Let them know that bullies will never win and that bullies are just sad, brainless products of our society and their own cowardice. The funny thing about the word “bully” is that is comes from a Middle Dutch word boele, which actually means “lover”. As Alanis would say: isn’t it ironic?
So what makes a bully a bully? Bullying isn’t something that appears out of nowhere. It is bred into people who believe they need to lash out at things they perceive as different or things they fear. Let me cast a wider net by saying you can see a bully’s violent stripes in terrorist cells. You can see their fear of diversity in the religious right. You can even see the pleasure they take in tormenting others in the Legion Of Doom. But heroes stand up against these bullies and show them they can’t win. Bullying won’t end because we expel vicious football players or lock up religious extremists. The reason they are bullies in the first place is because that’s the way they were raised.
When parents decide to raise their children to embrace diversity — whether it’s the colour of someone’s skin, who they choose to love or even the waist size of their classmates — then bullying will die a lonely, well-deserved death. Along with teaching our children that people who are different are just like everyone else, we also must teach our youth that there’s no need to jump on a bandwagon when other, less educated kids are bullying those who are different. Even if you fall into the category of what this world considers to be normal, it’s okay to stand up, speak out against hate and be exactly who you are.
The media is flush with reports of how schools and communities are finally going to put an end to bullying. The sad news is it will never end. Bullies will find a way. They always find a way. It’s the same as saying that one day we will win the war on crime or the war on drugs. It won’t happen. Not until the entire world somehow shifts their way of thinking. The death penalty hasn’t stopped people from murdering each other and prison time hasn’t dissuaded drug dealers from pumping our nation full of poison, so what hope does an anti-bullying crusade have? The hope that teenagers decide they would rather graduate or play basketball as opposed to torturing their classmates? Does anyone really think about the consequences when they are caught up in the moment? Not always. And by then the damage is done.
We are all scarred by what happened to us in high school. Whether you were an acne-spotted theater geek or an all-American running back, if you are gay, back then you lived a lie to survive. Maybe you bullied someone who was more like you than you’d care to admit because you saw your reflection in their frightened gaze and even though you weren’t on the receiving end of taunts and harassment, you were stuck in your own prison of denial and deception.
Was I bullied in high school? Constantly. I was 98 pounds of skin, bones and braces who barely looked up in the hallways. That Matt still lives inside of the confident 190-pound muscle-bound lothario I am today. But I haven’t forgotten him. And the fact that my training and knowledge has blessed me with the ability to cripple or kill a man only fuels my fire of rage when I hear about my young brethren being tormented by half-witted, weak-willed oxen.
Does it make me the same as them when I think about teaching these pathetic bullies a lesson by giving them a bloody taste of their own medicine? Maybe. But I think it makes me more of a champion, a vigilante, a hero who wants to protect and save the children he will never have. I look at it this way: how do you feel about someone who kills for the fun of it compared to a person who kills someone in self-defence? If I thought giving some Cro-Magnon bully a black eye or a busted molar would prevent a gay teen from killing himself, I’d say wrap my knuckles in some tape. Sometimes it’s the only language bullies understand.
I firmly believe that violence is never the answer to anything, but sometimes fighting fire with fire may be the only solution. Unfortunately some kids who are bullied believe the same thing and that’s when tragedies like Columbine happen. When violence breeds violence it can escalate and spin out of control. On the flip side of this violent coin, when kids are afraid to be who they are in the town where they live, they seek out companions on the internet. These predators are often not who they say they are and sometimes these trysts end in murder. Because of these unfavourable consequences people who truly want to help are wary of how they will be perceived. If I said that my home was open to any teenager who was lost and scared how would that make me look? Like a Good Samaritan or someone from To Catch A Predator? Unfortunately the sword cuts both ways.
My parents always taught me “living well is the best revenge”. I never really knew what that meant until I saw one of my bullies where he belonged: pathetic, broken-down and working behind the counter at a fast-food restaurant. Did I take pleasure in this? You bet I did. But when he was shoving me into my locker and spilling my lunch tray I had no idea that I would have this moment of clarity. The other thing my parents taught me was to stand up for myself, but that was a harder road. If I knew then what I know now, I can guarantee there would have been a lot of broken bones and an expulsion for yours truly.
No matter what happens, there will be a continuing wave of young people emerging into a world that fears and despises them. There’s no way anyone can stop it or beat the gayness out of any of them. The time for ignorance is over. It’s time for all of us to rise up — just like our brothers at Stonewall did — to show the world that we are not going anywhere and that we will protect our young like a lioness on the African veldt. There’s a new era coming and I am going to do whatever it takes to gay it forward and cement my legacy. What are you going to do?
So… What do I have to say to young gay people who are out there feeling scared and alone? Yes, it does get better. But don’t take my word for it. Stand up and see how beautiful and amazing you are. Life isn’t for hiding, life is for living. Life gives you the chance to laugh, to love, to dance and even time to look up at the stars. Follow your heart and jump to your feet because when you finally stand up and take a stand for what you believe in, that’s when people will show up and stand with you to take your side. If no one’s around to help you, help yourself. Do your push-ups and make sure you keep your left up when you deliver that right at eyebrow level.
If you think you can’t fight, then pack your bags and run to a place where your gay brothers and sisters will help you. Remember that strangers aren’t always a threat but use your common sense and let people earn your trust. Most importantly, if you are thinking about ending it all, please, please don’t do it. Hold on. Don’t let those dicks win. Show them how wrong they are by becoming who you want to be. Who you dream of being. The world needs you. Have you ever seen a Christmas tree with one light missing? It throws everything off. We need your light in this world to make it complete.
I know it hurts and I know it feels like there is no one out there who cares about you, but you are wrong. Someone’s waiting to be your friend. Someone’s waiting to be a part of your whole new family. Someone’s waiting to hold your hand and kiss your lips and show you that every ounce of pain you’ve ever felt has been worth it. Maybe our churches and our government want you to believe that you don’t matter, but they are spineless cowards hiding behind words they twist to suit their needs. Don’t listen to them. Instead, heed the words of all the people out there who care about you by saying: “it gets better”. Better yet, take a look at yourself in the mirror and tell that person you see and the person you will become: “I’m going to make it better.” It’s a long, hard road to get to the Emerald City where all your dreams will finally come true, but we are here waiting for you. So, come and get it. I can’t wait to meet you.
The theory behind freedom of speech was pretty simple: a robust consideration and debate of all ideas will lead to adoption of the better ones. When all points of view can be examined, people will opt for those which are best for that society.
The history of civil rights in the U.S. would seem to support that thesis; despite some pretty grim periods, the nation has consistently — if sometimes painfully — moved to a more inclusive, more humane interpretation of equality.
During the past several decades, however, the advent of an ever-more pervasive electronic media has brought on more and more spin and micro-targeting. As a result, political operatives have been able to target their respective base voters with messaging that rarely breaks through to the general public, depriving that public of the sort of arguments that free speech advocates believe are essential to good policy decisions.
Thanks to Barack Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage, however, we are going to have one of those truly public debates.
Obama has come out (no pun intended) for the equal protection of the laws, for a government that applies the same rules to gay, lesbian, bi & trans folks that it applies to heterosexuals.
Romney has endorsed a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and has personally contributed to anti-gay and anti-marriage equality organisations.
Perhaps more importantly, this stark difference of position comes at a time when those who do not follow politics closely are beginning to see just how radical the Republican base — to which Romney is in thrall — has become.
In Indiana, the 2-1 defeat of Richard Lugar by a Tea Party yahoo has been a wake—up call. Despite being routinely characterised as a moderate, Lugar was a very conservative Senator (probably a great deal more conseniative than many of his supporters realised).
As EJ. Dionne noted, he wasn't "moderate" — he was civil. He actually engaged in conversation with people he disagreed with. To the rabid know-nothings who currently contnol the GOP, that was evidently sin enough.
And Indiana is not alone, unfortunately. The radicalisation of the once Grand Old Party has been proceeding for a long time now. But that radicalisation has occurred largely out of view of the people who are simply going about their everyday business. What has been obvious to us political junkies is just now becoming obvious to the general public.
With Obama's announcement, the "agendas" of base voters, Republican and Democrat alike, are receiving widespread attention. The choice is stark and it isn't limited to same—sex marriage. If you think about it, positions on same—sex marriage are indicators of political and moral philosophies. People who favor civil liberties and equality for lesbian, gay, bi & trans people tend to believe in separation of church and state, in government neutrality and even-handedness.
People who are adamantly opposed to the extension of equal rights to gays and lesbians, on the other hand, tend to believe in authoritarian government, tend to support the GOP's "war on women," and tend to reject the principle of separation of church and state in favor of a belief in America as a “Christian nation."
Diversity makes them uncomfortable, and — let's be honest — so does the presence of a black man in the White House.
Bottom line? Different positions on same-sex marriage are proxies for dramatically different world views.
What Obama's endorsement of same—sex marriage has done is shine a very bright light on these differences. It was a decision to reject the continued micro-targeting of messages — the “wink—wink" approach favored by political operatives of both parties — in favor of the very public, very robust debate envisioned by the founders.
It's a debate worth having. I just hope the founders weren't overly optimistic.
The issue of marriage equality is currently a hot topic. Political leaders, celebrities and proponents from many disciplines are publicly lending their support in favor of equal treatment, and admirably so. These people are making the headlines. These headlines, however, are illustrating a growing trend. Everybody’s calling it “gay marriage.” I’m asking, by using the phrase “gay marriage,” are we advancing the cause in search of equality? We must remember; we are pursuing marriage equality as a human right, not as a gay right.
We are all familiar with the fact that “gay” used to mean “happy” in everyday language. The meaning of the word has undergone notable change. It means something completely different to its traditional definition. And some of us are fond of our “traditional definitions.” Just ask any marriage equality opponent. “It has always been between a man and a woman,” they’ll tell you to justify their opposition. Is it ironic then that the word “gay” can illustrate how definitions can change? Possibly, and perhaps inadvertently we’re taking it too far with our “gay marriage” campaign.
It is worth considering that phrasing it “gay marriage” may be operating to strengthen the illusion that some narrow minds are under. Those same minds see equality as a threat. They think the institution of marriage is in danger. What they don’t understand is that marriage won’t change. What will change is who enjoys the privilege and legal right to enter it. Our celebrated institution will remain the same. It will simply be available to us all, regardless of sexual orientation, to guard our committed love with the law. We won’t have “gay marriages.” We’ll have marriages, just like now.
Our research, published recently in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, shows that gaydar is indeed real and that its accuracy is driven by sensitivity to individual facial features as well as the spatial relationships among facial features.
We conducted experiments in which participants viewed facial photographs of men and women and then categorized each face as gay or straight. The photographs were seen very briefly, for 50 milliseconds, which was long enough for participants to know they'd seen a face, but probably not long enough to feel they knew much more. In addition, the photos were mostly devoid of cultural cues: hairstyles were digitally removed, and no faces had makeup, piercings, eyeglasses or tattoos.
Even when viewing such bare faces so briefly, participants demonstrated an ability to identify sexual orientation: overall, gaydar judgments were about 60 percent accurate.
Since chance guessing would yield 50 percent accuracy, 60 percent might not seem impressive. But the effect is statistically significant — several times above the margin of error. Furthermore, the effect has been highly replicable: we ourselves have consistently discovered such effects in more than a dozen experiments, and our gaydar research was inspired by the work of the social psychologist Nicholas Rule, who has published on the gaydar phenomenon numerous times in the past few years.
Should you trust your gaydar in everyday life? Probably not. In our experiments, average gaydar judgment accuracy was only in the 60 percent range. This demonstrates gaydarability — which is far from judgment proficiency.
But is gaydar real? Absolutely.
Continue reading at The New York Times
While today's ruling is a victory for equality advocates, questions about the law's premise remain to be decided by the Supreme Court.
For the dwindling number of supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Clinton-era federal law that defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, the bad news Thursday from Boston actually could have been much worse.
Yes, it's true that the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down the guts of the law -- the first federal appeals court in the country to do so. The ruling declares that Section 3 of the law cannot be used to deprive lawfully-married same-sex couples of the federal rights and benefits to which lawfully married opposite-sex couples are given. The case now is styled Massachusetts v. U.S. Dep't Health and Human Services.
Yes, it's true that two of the three judges who issued Thursday's ruling are Republican appointees. Judge Michael Boudin is a nominee of the first President Bush. Judge Juan Torruella is a nominee of President Reagan. When you factor in U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro, the Nixon appointee who first struck down the law in 2010, it means that three of the four judges responsible for DOMA's current predicament are GOP infused.
And, yes, it's true, the ruling jeopardizes enforcement of the federal Marriage Act all across the country. Sure, it can still be cited (in the 1st Circuit and elsewhere) to deny same-sex couples their benefits. But those denials are more legally suspect today than they were yesterday. The Supreme Court now must resolve this conflict -- and today's decision virtually guarantees that the justices will have to act sooner rather than later.
All that is true. But the language of the 1st Circuit's 35-page ruling is no Jeremiad against DOMA or opponents of same-sex marriage. It is not something likely to be as widely quoted as other recent rulings over same-sex marriage in America. And it clearly does not purport to be the definitive or last word on the subject. We have here instead a modest ruling which accomplishes four significant things at the same time (something, not incidentally, that intermediate appellate courts are supposed to do as they funnel cases up the ladder to Washington).Continue reading at The Atlantic
Summer days are here and with them come wonderful opportunities to get out and have some fun, meet knew people and make some memories. As a new member of the Hanford community, I volunteered to help get some activities and events started for our "family" to have available to them, but I need help! If you are interested in getting involved either as an active participants in any and all programs put on or as a volunteer to make the programs happen I want to hear from you!
Summer is one of my favorite times of the year with so many opportunities to do and experience. It would be great if we could do some of them with our community support. Lets get together and support each other and have some fun at:
It would be great if we could a carpool going to the Fresno showing of The Laramie Project June 16 and June 17.
And I'm sure there are even more things to do! Let's hear your ideas!!