'Qistory' project promoting LGBTQ+ history in Central California

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023
'Qistory' project promoting LGBTQ+ history in Central California
A Central California organization is hoping to gather LGBTQ+ history.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central California organization is hoping to gather LGBTQ+ history.

Community Link is a non-profit organization that focuses on helping people within the LGBTQ+ community.

Currently, the group is asking people in the Central Valley to submit different pieces of history as part of a project called Qistory.

"Qistory is so that we don't lose our history, basically, of the LGBT plus community. We decided that we needed to write this stuff down. To do interviews, to collect photographs, all kinds of things. And not just in Fresno but across the Central Valley because it wasn't being done," said Chris Jarvis, a committee member of Community Link.

Jarvis says older people in the community have passed away or moved out of the area since the project began.

A lot of those people have essential information on how life was in years past.

In addition, Jarvis says it's important to document history now more than ever.

"With what we're seeing going on across the country, with libraries and censoring books, the don't say gay policies, which are not even allowing kids in schools to talk about their life. Right now, our history is kind of disappearing across the country," said Jarvis.

Jarvis says there's nothing too little for them to collect.

"I actually filmed the Pride parade for many, many years when I was with gay Fresno at the time," Jarvis explained.

Qistory launched a website and YouTube page filled with videos and photos it's already collected from people so far.

"In order to understand where you're going, you have to understand where you came from," said Jarvis.

Community Link member, Bryan Cauwels, says this project has not been an easy feat.

"The biggest struggle is funding. To get a website is very expensive to get this stuff off the ground," said Cauwels.

The organization used some of the leftover funding from the Fresno Rainbow Pride Parade to jumpstart this effort.

The project takes a lot of time from committee members so organizers say they are always looking for volunteers to help as this project will be an ongoing collection of Qistory.

You can watch the full episode of 'Our America: Pride in History III' by clicking here.

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