Photo: Hime Romero
Manteca is a city of 67,000, and sits in California’s great central valley, 20 miles south of Stockton, and 75 miles east of San Francisco. The Manteca Bulletin on Tuesday, November 19, 2013, ran a story highlighting the story of Ashton Lee, a high school junior. Ashton’s story is one of coming out to his family a year ago, and his efforts to effect change at Manteca High School and in California law.
From the Manteca Bulletin:
Ashton Lee is a transgender boy, one of a “handful” in the Manteca Unified School District, said Superintendent Jason Messer. Born Kimberly Marie Lee, Ashton revealed his gender identity to his parents last year and would go on to garner national headlines for his role in the transgender equality law AB1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act.
The oustpoken teen has emerged from the shadows of fear and confusion a champion of civil rights, embraced by the love and support of his parents.
“He’s taking a stand for what he believes in,” Don Lee said. “We’ve always been like that. We tend to stand up for those who don’t have a voice. Ashton is standing up and we support him 100 percent.
“I hope over time they see that everyone has a right to be happy. To be successful. Ashton took a big, bold step in school, saying this is who I am and this is what I believe.”
Read the Manteca Bulletin article here.
Worth 11 minutes of your time.
Illinois’ marriage equality bill is heading to the Senate for a second, procedural, vote, and then on to the governor’s desk for his signature. Pat Quinn has indicated he will sign it. Marriages should begin June 1, 2014.
Joan Davis (L), Pastor Neil Climer, Jennifer McGuire
Photo credit: Penny Sick
Saturday, October 26, 2013, was another milestone in Visalia’s LGBTQ history. On one level, it was simply a wedding, mostly of interest to the happy couple, their family and friends. On another, it served as a significant signpost on the journey towards equality for a rapidly changing nation. Jennifer McGuire and Joan Davis were wed at the Visalia Veteran’s Memorial Hall, in a ceremony attended by family from across the country, friends, and notable locals such as Visalia’s Mayor Amy Shuklian and her partner Mary Randol, as well as many prominent members of the LGBTQ community.
You may remember some of the recent incidents reported here at QueerLandia regarding gay rights issues in this reddest-of-red portion of California. Visalia itself has been good, but only 35 miles away in the same county, Porterville has been another issue. The differences in response to marriage equality have been stark. You’d be amazed the two cities are in the same state, let alone only miles apart in the same county!
This blog is not about that controversy, however. It’s about a big gay wedding!
In 2008, the Montgomery’s of Bakersfield, California, walked the streets to support Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that took marriage rights away from same-gender couples after the state’s Supreme Court ruled the earlier Proposition 22 initiative unconstitutional.
Bakersfield PFLAG will be screening the Family Acceptance Project film, Families Are Forever on November 7, 2013. The film takes us on the journey from knocking on doors in Bakersfield in support of Prop 8, to accepting their 13 year old gay son. Now strongly active in the struggle to change the Mormon Church from within, the Montgomery’s story is told in this riveting short film.