Constellating Care Networks highlights LGBTQ+ history in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Constellating Care Network Exhibition at Fresno City College blends history with the present.

"Queer history is Fresno's history," says Katherine Fobear. "Oftentimes, we like to think of them as like separate."

Displays show the resilience and personal memories within the LGBTQ+ community.

"This is our Constellating Care Networks Participatory Project," says Elena Harvey Collins. "We've actually invited anyone who comes into the gallery to contribute to the map."

The public mapping project invites visitors to mark "safe spaces" where people can be themselves.

"As people come by, they've mapped really cool things like for example, somebody maps here that at Teazers Tea Market, that was the first date that they had with their husband," Fobear said.

The exhibition featured a series of public programs in collaboration with area LGBTQ groups and musicians.

"Something that was really important to us was to emphasize the importance of preserving history and acknowledging and honoring people in the community who have done that," Collins said.

Someone worthy of that acknowledgment -- El Dana.

"I feel proud and I feel honored," Dana said.

Dana created the nonprofit Imperial Sequoia Empire in the 80s and hosted fundraisers to support people with aids.

"It's been very difficult," Dana said. I've always had to feel that I'm on climbing a mountain and falling a little bit each time, but I don't give up. I keep climbing and I hope most gay women out there feel the way do. just keep climbing."

Amber Fargano is part of the Bruise Violet Collective, a group of women and non-binary artists and musicians.

"To have a space where you can feel at rest, you can feel comfortable and you can really cultivate growth amongst people like you and beyond is so special and so rare in the Central Valley that yeah, it's absolutely important," she said.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.