LGBTQ Representation on Fresno EOC Board

Posted on Apr 13, 2018

Michael Reyna in front of Tower Theatre[Photo Above: Michael Reyna, left, with other REEL Pride Board Members in front of Tower Theatre in Fresno.] 

[Photo Right: Michael Reyna in front of Tower Theatre in Fresno.]

This year, 2018, marks a first for the LGBTQ community, it is the first time that we have a representative from an LGBTQ organization serving on the Fresno EOC board.

The Fresno EOC Board is comprised of representatives from 3 different sectors. Commissioners can be directly elected from their target area, they can be appointed by elected officials and bodies or be selected as a representative of a community organization. Representing the community organization Fresno Reel Pride is the film festival Vice-President and Director of Sponsorship, Michael Reyna.

“Every day we serve our diverse community and it is important that our board reflect that” said Fresno EOC CEO, Brian Angus.

Fresno Reel Pride is the 6th oldest LGBTQ film festival in the nation. Now in its 29th year, the festival started at Fresno State with 5-6 films and has become a 5 day festival showing over 50 films. Many of the films are international films and often the only time these films will be shown in the Greater Central Valley. Reel Pride is also proud to bring many films that represent a Latin American demographic, many of which are screened in Spanish. The all-volunteer board and staff work year round, screening hundreds of films to ensure that there are films for everyone. Most importantly, the Board focuses on the annual YOUTH FILMS that are shown every Saturday of the Festival at no cost to youth and K-12 students.

Mr. Reyna started out as a volunteer in 2012 and joined the Reel Pride board in 2014. “I learned about the film festival from my workplace, where we had been a festival sponsor. I soon started volunteering out of a sense of community pride and the need to give back.”

Michael’s sense of duty to his community led him to continue seeking ways in which to serve, leading him to The Fresno EOC Board. “When the Fresno LGBT Community Center closed down, I knew that if I wanted to see a new center in this community that I needed to get involved in making it happen. That is why I decided to pursue a position on the Fresno EOC Board.”

Being the first liaison to represent a LGBTQ community organization on the Fresno EOC Board inspires Michael to reach out to other LGBTQ leaders and organizations to encourage then to become involved with local organizations like the EOC.

“Our mission for the Fresno Reel Pride Film Festival is ‘Films for Everyone’ and at Fresno EOC we believe in ‘Programs for Everyone’.”