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May '23 Newsletter

May Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day - and OUR POTLUCK on Saturday, May 13 - noon at UU Spokane; weather dependent, we may even be able to hold it picnic style outside. Please fit us into your schedule and make it a holiday thing. The April potluck was low key, about 15 folks having a leisure pre-Easter bunny feast amidst easy conversation.

Our third Friday of the month April speaker was Matthew Barcus of the Gonzaga University lgbtq+ Center. He spoke about his background and the evolution/expansion of the Center to meet the needs of lgbtq+ students there, as well as brainstorming with us on ways we might collaborate with the Center. In May a couple of folks from our steering committee will be having lunch with lgbtq+ staff who meet monthly on campus, so that we can continue the dialog with members of the university.

Our Steering Committee met for a full day retreat on April 26. Dan and a very able volunteer, Shanette, revealed our first ever stand alone website that will go live within the next two weeks. Everyone on our mailing list will receive a notification when that happens. Thank you very much to Shanette for going above and beyond in putting this beautiful, easy to navigate site together. There are several photos to be included on a rotating basis. We have tried over the years to get verbal permission from attendees. If you are unwilling for any reason to have your picture included on the website, please let Jacki and/or Nancy know. They will do their best to eliminate your photo from the site.

Upcoming calendar for May:

May 2 Taco Tuesday at Uprise Brewing 617 N. Ash St. We're trying this place out because there is lots of free parking, outdoor seating and hopefully it is quieter than nYne.

May 13th Potluck at UUCS. Set up at 11:30 lunch at Noon. 4340 W. Whistalks Way.

May 17th Lunch Out On The Town location to be decided

The Friday zoom meeting on May 19 features Reynaldo Mireles Jr. of SAGE (Advocacy and Services for lgbtq+ Elders). Ok, that's a bit dyslexic, but he is speaking about their work and ways we might collaborate, drawing on national resources. Reynaldo is Director of Coalition Building for SAGE. In the weeks following his presentation there will be whole group discussion about affiliating with them.

The Steering Committee also agreed to donate five tickets to this Saturdays Spectrum Concert - again, first come, first serve. Tickets are $12 at the door, but if you email Nancy about the concert to be held Saturday, April 29 at 7 pm, Shadle Park High School, she can arrange for your free ticket.

It was announced that the Say It Out Loud Conference will be held at the Grand in Spokane on May 22. The event sponsors have set aside six entry tickets for us at no cost. First come, first serve - email Nancy Avery if you would like to attend this wonderful gathering. Tickets normally cost $75 per person. The conference is about lgbtq+ issues.

We agreed to have a booth at the Spokane Pride, June 10 ,and WE NEED VOLUNTEERS to commit to being there throughout the day. Unfortunately, we are not organizing a parade contingent this year. That doesn't mean you can't walk or watch the parade. Please email Jacki if you can volunteer for an hour or two.

We have been gathering at Nyne Bar in Spokane for some time now on first Tuesdays for taco Tuesday and gab. Several people on the committee felt that the acoustics at Nyne make conversation too difficult for many of our members. Another bar offering similar opportunity, Uprise Brewing at 617 North Ash St, Spokane, was suggested as a good alternative. It does have wheelchair access,an outdoor covered patio, free parking and it is pet friendly. We are suggesting meeting there as a group on Tuesday, May 2nd at about 5:30 for tacos. Or whatever. We are sending our gratitude to nYne for their offering and letting them know of our groups needs.

We revised and simplified our code of conduct, which will also be reflected in our website. Our new statement reads:

Code of Conduct:

When we gather, whether it be via zoom or in person, we will treat each other with respect and kindness through our actions and our words by:

  • keeping what others share in confidence; don't reveal what anyone has said unless given permission.

  • demonstrating respect for the viewpoints and experiences of others.

  • keeping your comments brief so everyone has time to contribute during a zoom meeting

  • not talking over or interrupting others when they are speaking.

  • being considerate of boundaries; don't touch or hug others without permission.

  • avoiding sexual innuendo, and politically charged comments.

We did this in order to re-commit to safe space expectations of the group.

The current national political climate was discussed at the retreat. We are collectively dismayed and concerned at the rising tide of anti lgbtq+ legislation being proposed and passed in so many states. As of April 26, per the ACLU, 469 such bills have appeared on the federal and state level. Many more are coming. To name a few, Missouri passed legislation banning ALL gender affirming care and access, Florida escalated their "don't say gay" bill to include all high school students, the federal government passed legislation banning trans female high schoolers from participating in sports, and so it depressingly goes. Regarding the anti abortion laws hurtling forward in the wake of the RvW overturn, the forced birth and subjugation of women ideology affects all genders, all orientations. Our power lies in conscious observation, documentation of personal harassment, communication with each other - and as best we can, staying visible in our communities. You are not alone - together we are strong.

tribal blessings to all


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