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.
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.