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QUEER ECOLOGY

The LGBTQ+ Resource Center is getting a wild and colorful new look.

Staff members and volunteers are painting a 29-by-11 foot mural inside the Fresno EOC LGBTQ+ Resource Center’s conference room in Downtown Fresno. The art is titled “Queer by Nature.”

The staff wanted to create a lush, green space in the resource center to make it feel more organic and inviting. Outreach Coordinator Emily McKay Johnson says the theme stems from queer ecology.

“Nature itself is very queer,” said Johnson. The artwork features animals that tend to have same-sex partnerships or are genderfluid, including: the grizzly bear, parrot fish, bottlenose dolphin, bonobo ape, and giraffe.

The mural was created by local artist Pedro Rivas Lopez, a native of Mendota. He sketched the mural and is working with volunteers to complete the lush landscape in the Resource Center.

The Center serves all individuals in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, HIV, and questioning community. Johnson said it “is now open to the public, but some services are limited due to COVID-19.” The Resource Center is a place where LGBTQ+ community members can receive access to gender affirming care, substance use treatment, and more. It is also a safe space drop-in center, provides LGBTQ+ competency training, and hosts events for the community and allied organizations.

Once the mural is complete, the Center will provide educational materials for visitors to read about the animals featured in the artwork and for those who are interested in queer ecology.

The mural project kicked off August 19 and is expected to be completed just in time for Downtown Fresno’s ArtHop on September 2 from 5 to 9PM!

Visitors can check out the mural progress at the Resource Center Monday through Friday from 10AM to 5PM at 1252 Fulton Street.

For more information about the Center, visit the LGBTQ+ Resource Center page.

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